Monday, April 18, 2011

The Aluminaut & a 1960s View of the Future

In the collection of the Science Museum of Virginia is the world's first all aluminum submarine: the Aluminaut. The Aluminaut was built by Reynolds Metals Co. in 1964 and donated to the Science Museum of Virginia in 1995.

The above drawing is a futuristic view of the world as envisioned by Reynolds Metals Co. in the mid-1960s for what the future would hold for the Aluminaut (shown as the dark vessel at top left). Here are some projects it was believed the Aluminaut would initiate:

  • Producing electricity through subsurface dams set up over strong ocean currents

  • The ability to move large amounts of people safely underwater as opposed to dangerous travel above the surface during hostile weather or attacks

  • Vacationing in the ocean in underwater cities

  • Modifying the weather and stopping hurricanes by constructing underwater baffles to deflect cooler water upward

  • Constructing oil refineries where workers could live and work underwater (as depicted in the above drawing)

Come visit and see the submarine for yourself- the Aluminaut is currently on display at the Science Museum of Virginia.

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