Whimsical illustrations of the future from 1890

Albert Robida was a French illustrator and author who produced a series of fantastical drawings to accompany three futurist novels he wrote in the 1880s.  Often caricatured as derivative to Jules Verne's science fiction, the two are more fairly seen as contemporaries.  Whereas Verne's adventures took place in the proximity of scientists and engineers, Robida built his technological marvels into everyday life, and studied the effects they would have on the public at large.  La Vie Électrique includes a wonderfully French take on everything from videophones, flying machines, and functional foods, to chemical warfare, submarines, industrialisation, pollution, and much more besides.

La Vie Électrique

La Vie Électrique






Images taken from La Vie Électrique, Project Gutenburg



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I love these.

By Gabe Acock (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink

These are brilliant! Thanks for sharing them.

By Matthew von der Ahe (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink

Thanks for posting - the link you have provided goes to a French translation of Benjamin Franklin's work on electricity - This is the link for Robida's book:

By Mark Bells (not verified) on 16 Jun 2012 #permalink