This 1950s Ad Showed The Sleek Future Of Shipping Automation

This 1950s Ad Showed The Sleek Future Of Shipping Automation

What do ball bearings have to do with the future? Everything, if you believe

futuristic technologies driving today’s ports.

In fact, this 1950s ad is not unlike the automated warehouses predicted by Arthur Radebaugh in the 27 April 1958 edition of his Sunday comic strip, Closer Than We Think:

We got these robots in places like Amazon warehouses (and, of course, in various forms at today’s docks), they’re just a bit less midcentury-future in style than 2015-future.

Image: New Departure ball bearings ad from the September 1956 issue of Scientific American via the Modern Mechanix blog