the jetsons.



while filling up my car with gas 

a man walked over to me saying

how it would have been great

if one of the inventions from ‘the jetsons’ show had come to be –

 a warm air pad that you walked on, so you were never cold

i reminded him of their version of the microwave

where you pushed a button and your food was cooked in seconds

from there it continued on, back and forth

with inventions remembered from the show

until we both of our cars were filled up

 going on our merry way

what an interesting conversation to have with a random stranger at the gas pump

perhaps he recognized a fellow jetsons fan

not your usual small talk, but rather refreshing

triggering memories of my favorite childhood cartoon.

the jetsons premiered when i was 5 years old on abc tv (their first color show!) on sunday nights. i loved it instantly; the characters, the banter, the clothes, and all the cool space-age stuff. unfortunately it only ran for one season and then quickly disappeared from the airwaves, except in reruns and later movies.

here’s smithsonian’s take on the show:

It was 50 years ago that the Jetson family first jet-packed their way into American homes. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) after its debut in 1962, offering television viewers a rather sunny and optimistic view of the future. Flying cars, moving sidewalks, and flat-screen TVs were the norm. Even the Jetson family’s sky home was considered envious. ABC set The Jetsons in 2062, exactly 100 years from the year that the show premiered. Based on the Jetson family’s phone number, one could argue that they didn’t live on Earth or just above it. The family’s phone number was VENUS-1234, meaning they were most likely residents on Venus. 

Regardless of its short-running timeframe, the show remains a point of pop culture reference all these years later. Some of the inventions that existed on The Jetsons are available today, and they did predict current technologies. Some examples include; interactive newspapers, robotic help, holograms, and drones. The most widespread Jetson-inspired invention  is the Apple Watch. It closely resembles the device George wore on his wrist to call work, make appointments, handle doctor visits, and much more.

Tesla is teasing us with self-autonomous vehicles, but people are still waiting for the highly-accessible flying cars used by the Jetsons. We may not have to wait another 50 years as a Slovakian company is currently working on a flying car prototype. Smithsonian Magazine said, “The Jetsons stands as the single most important piece of 20th-century futurism.” They claim the show “has had a profound impact on the way that Americans think and talk about the future.”

image credit: hanna-barbera productions, abc tv, warner brothers archives,smithsonian magazine

85 responses »

  1. I loved The Jetsons! I think I probably watched it a lot in syndication when I was a child. I looked it up at one point for a book I was working on, and I had forgotten that you could fold up the flying car when you arrived at your destination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right in my pocket this show was, too, of course, Beth! I loved the way little guy Kazoo appeared on both the Jetsons and the Flintstones … made me aware of time travel maybe sort of? Yes, the writers in charge of the futuristic inventions surely hit it out of the park with so many! Their zippy little personal cars unbound to the ground roads will come to us in the year ???

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this and immediately started singing the theme song in my head! Now it’s stuck there, replacing “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music that was on TV 10 days ago! It would be fun to have a marathon of Jetson reruns some weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meet George Jetson, daughter Judy and Jane his wife….the song is constantly in my head. When I was in junior high, I would walk to school in bad weather with dreams of flying like them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was in college that year, yet still managed to absorb a lot of the Jetsons. Only one year? That doesn’t seem possible. My current watch, however, precedes the Jetsons. It’s more like Dick Tracy’s wrist radio.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved The Jetsons! I can still sing their theme song. Don’t you think that Back To The Future was inspired by The Jetsons? What a great chance conversation at the gas pump. I love those impromptu moments.

    Liked by 1 person

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