EVANS, I[drisyn]. O[liver]. The World of To-Morrow. London: Denis Archer, 1933.

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EVANS, I[drisyn]. O[liver].
The World of To-Morrow. A Junior Book of Forecasts.
London: Denis Archer, 1933.

8vo (214 × 137 mm), pp.164. 17 black-and-white photographs and photo-based illustrations and 15 drawings, printed on 24 acetate plates; occasional cockling to plates as is to be expected, corresponding cockling to pages, top edge a little dusty, occasional light spotting and soiling. Yellow endpapers trimmed as issued, text in black to verso of rear free endpaper. Yellow cloth-backed black-and-white pictorial celluloid covers with yapp fore-edges, spine lettered in black; endpapers lightly faded and soiled with a tear to front. Spine lightly darkened. Covers warped as usual, front yapp edge lost, lacking the publisher’s cellophane wrapper. A very good copy of a book that despite heralding numerous advances in its construction is prone to a variety of condition issues.

First edition. This speculative attempt to predict advances in communications, travel, energy sources, and warfare for children, also declared itself to be ‘the first attempt to bring book production into line with modern requirements’, as the rear cover states. ‘The illustrations are printed on transparent “Diophane,” which gives a luminosity which is almost stereoscopic. The binding is on the “Neo-Nevett Tape-Slot” principle, a much more permanent method than the old stitching. … The covers are made of translucent “Rhodoid,” on which the design is printed, and this can be given any colour effect or variety of expression by the use of suitable end-papers. The Yapp fore-edge also protects the book from wear and the whole cover is stainless and washable’.

The future innovations that Evans’ describes include: a mid-ocean airport, a train tunnel under the English Channel, a tidal power generator, wind turbines, space rockets and suits, an anti-gas raygun, a ‘World League of Peace’, a supercalculator, radiation therapy, the advantages of group sunbathing and nude game-playing, audio books, pneumatic tubes for distributing mail across the country, telegraph typewriters in every home for transmitting handwriting, and ‘tiny instruments, little bigger than a watch, with which we can call up a friend in any part of the earth, and talk with him in complete privacy on our own special beam and wave-length.’

In his introduction Evans writes: ‘I have given the greater part of this book to accounts of new inventions, because I think those are the things that would interest you most. I have only given a smaller space to the differences that these inventions would make in our lives, thought that is really the most important thing. We should be greatly thrilled indeed if we could accomplish space-flight to the moon, but it would be much better for us all if we could accomplish the duller task of devising a new money-system that would let us use the plenty around us instead of wasting it. But if my descriptions of new machinery make you realise that the plenty is there, you will be ready, when you are older, to think of the more difficult task of trying to find ways of using it’.


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