If Mad Men has taught us anything, it's that people of the 1960s were really good at chain smoking, decorating with shag carpets, and dreaming up delightfully anachronistic predictions of the future. In the lattermost category, Gizmodo has dug up the latest: a Cold War/Space Race version of the office desk of the "future," a shiny garbanzo bean with a mini-fridge and zero work surfaces. Included: video calling, a dictation machine, and—oh man—a switchboard with "miniaturized connections to handle many more extension lines in less space," according to the 1961 issue of Chicago Tribune in which this cartoon, by Arthur Radebaugh, first appeared. Forget the punchcard-operated automatic chef of Walter Cronkite's home of the future: switchboards are what's truly 21st century.
· The 1960s Office Desk of the Future Was More NASA Than Mad Men [Gizmodo]
· Watch Walter Cronkite Tour a 21st-Century Home in 1967 [Curbed National]