Bell Solar Battery 1954

Lucent Technologies inc./Bell Labs--Bell Labs released this panel in 1954. Time Magazine reported it produced up to 50 Watts per square meter.

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Bell Labs Commercial Solar Panel 1955

Lucent Technologies inc./Bell Labs

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Bell Labratory Scientists

Gordon Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Darryl Chapin in Bell Labs credited with developing the first useful solar cell

Mr. Langston Hughes

I just picked up a vintage copy of “The First Book of Jazz” by Langston Hughes (1955). The illustrations by Cliff Roberts are incredible. The style reminds me of one of my favorite jazz album cover artists Jim Flora. I found the illustration set here.

The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by the Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Company in 1955. It was displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955. Futura’s styling was extravagantly impractical even by the standards of the ’50s, with a double, clear-plastic canopy top, exaggerated hooded headlight pods, and very large, outward-canted tailfins at both ends of the vehicle. Nevertheless, the Futura had a complete powertrain and was fully operable in contrast to many show cars then and now. Its original color was white, and was one of the first Pearlescent color treatments, using ground pearl to achieve the paint effect. The Futura was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and powertrain; the chassis was that of a Lincoln Mark II. (wikipedia)

The Futura concept sketch (Image: http://www.theAvanti.com)


The concept car was so popular, it was even created for children in the form of model cars.

1956 Revell Lincoln Futura Model

The original concept car was painted red in 1959 and was featured in the movie “It Started with a Kiss” starring Debbie Reynolds & Glenn Ford. Following the filming of the movie, the car was sold to George Barris for $1. The car was parked in a back Hollywood lot and rusted away for several years before it was used as the inspiration for the original Batmobile in 1966.

The Futura featured in "It Started with a Kiss"

The Futura rusting away in a back lot

The 1966 patent for the original Batmobile based on the Lincoln Futura

The original Batmobile from the Batman television show

Images from the amazing 1955 men’s grooming guide by Bert Bacharach titled “Right Dress”.