The E-Reader of 1935

By Megan Garber

The book reader of the future (April 1935 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics). Via Matt Novak.

You've had a long day at work. All you want to do is go home, veg out on the couch, and watch a little ... book?

Matt Novak, curator extraordinaire for the Smithsonian, has found this gem of paleo-futurism from the pages of a 1935 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics -- a screen-based reader that, he writes, "was to be the next logical step in the world of publishing."

That next logical step would be ... "basically a microfilm reader mounted on a large pole."

The whole thing, to our TV-and-tablet-jaded eyes, looks wonderfully quaint. (The projector! The knobs! The semi-redundant reading lamp! The smoking jacket!) But it also looks smartly predictive: After all, what speaks to our current, hazy dreams of convergenceĀ more eloquently than the ability to sit back, relax, and turn books into television?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/the-e-reader-of-1935/254568/