Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Ford's Escapades with Fusion and Hydrogen

Ford Nucleon

The futuristic Ford Nucleon gripped the public imagination in 1957. The nuclear-powered mockup was a public relations ploy intended to demonstrate that Ford planned to be on the forefront of the Atomic Age. The concept was straightforward: a miniature fission reactor would drive a steam turbine, much like a nuclear submarine. I suspect the designers knew what a crazy idea it was, but it gave people hope that something better than combustion engines were just around the corner.

Allan Bellows of Damn Interesting sums it up nicely: "During the 1950s, much of the world was quivering with anticipation over the exciting prospects of nuclear power. Atomic energy promised to churn out clean, safe electricity that would be "too cheap to meter." It seemed that there was no energy problem too large or too small for the mighty atom to tackle during the glorious and modern Atomic Age.

It was during this honeymoon with nuclear energy– in 1957– that the Ford Motor Company unveiled the most ambitious project in their history: a concept vehicle which had a sleek futuristic look, emitted no harmful vapors, and offered incredible fuel mileage far beyond that of the most efficient cars ever built. This automobile-of-the-future was called the Ford Nucleon, named for its highly unique design feature… a pint-size atomic fission reactor in the trunk."

Fifty years later, Ford still relies on the internal combustion engine. It seems that they're getting increasingly nervous about the future of oil, and the company recently formed a $228-million joint venture with Daimler to develop affordable hydrogen fuel cell technology. Only time will tell whether Hydrogen technology will become the savior of the automotive industry or the Ford Nucleon of the 21st century.

Visit Damn Interesting: The Atomic Automobile to read more.


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