I love to read old books and magazines–and both Popular Mechanics and Popular Science are favorites of mine. My Dad, Ernest Lewis, read them from the time he was a teenager in the 1920s and he and my mom discussed the ideas for the future that were featured every month. He often pointed out how many of the things we were using had been predicted decades earlier. The Drive-In Bank in the article above, in 1937, is one of those. (The idea is described twice as being novel–although now it seems that such a concept just makes sense.)
This article about a new idea for taking photos before all the teeth are removed and dentures are made is also described as novel. I prefer the novel idea of finding a way to prevent the decay, disease or accidents that make dentures necessary. (My dentist commented not long ago that, thankfully, dental students nowadays are limited in opportunities for working with dentures.)
The first novel idea–a drive-in bank–takes a successful concept and improves it. The second merely makes a miserable situation a bit less terrible. It was better than before but still not a good thing. Life is sometimes like that, have you noticed?
In the same issue is an article about a novel new game in which players guess who committed a murder and with what weapon. (I’m certain it was Professor Plum in the Library with a Rope.) That game, eventually called Clue, wasn’t patented until 1944 so it surprises me it was mentioned in a widely read magazine–unless the person patenting it got the idea from the magazine.
Wander around your office and see what items are likely one day to be considered quaint instead of cutting edge. When new technology is purchased, take photos and scan the ads, instruction book and invoice. Develop your own record of how things have changed. Do the same thing at home.
Someday you, your coworkers and your children will be fascinated to be reminded of the once novel items that became routine or were replaced with new, improved products. There may also be a few reminders that no matter how improved some things become, we still don’t want to be required to use them–like dentures.