A couple of weeks ago I went to the Science Museum in London to take a look at an exhibition on the birth of Hi-Tech Britain (which also highlights the popularity of Dan Dare during that period).
After 1945, though war-weary and broke, Britain found huge pride in wartime advances such as radar, penicillin and the jet engine. Discoveries like these were now tipped to kick-start world-beating industries, bring prosperity and bankroll the emerging welfare state.
In an age before globalisation, products from rockets to radios sprang from local roots. Together they reveal a fascinating ‘lost world’ of British design and invention – a glimpse of a time when the TV in the corner was a Murphy, not a Sony.
During the 1950s, millions of people – children and adults – followed the adventures of Dan Dare, as portrayed in Eagle magazine. Every week Dan Dare ranged across space, battling his arch foe – the power-mad Mekon. Meanwhile, back on Earth, another extraordinary future was unfolding – one which laid the foundation for today’s hi-tech consumer society.
The exhibition is still open, closing on 25th October. It’s worth a quick visit if you happen to be near.
It was interesting to see one of the first flymos there, from 1969. Odd that when I bought a one a few weeks ago it looks practically the same 40 years on!
Hmm…. the things you can do with a new vacuum cleaner!