Better living through chemistry...
Here is an entertaining article from 1950 that tried to predict what life would be like in the year 2000.
If you read it, note how synthetic chemicals were expected to take center stage in everyday life.
This line of thought was well-established before 1950.
New chemicals were being discovered, synthesized, researched and applied before the end of the 1800's.
"You'll eat food from sawdust..."
"Thus sawdust and wood pulp are converted into sugary foods." Hmm.
"Everything about the Dobson house is synthetic in the best chemical sense of the term.
When Joe Dobson awakens in the morning he uses a depilatory.
No soap or safety razor for him.
It takes him no longer than a minute to apply the chemical, wipe it off with the bristles and wash his face in plain water."
"Cooking as an art is only a memory in the minds of old people.
A few die-hards still broil a chicken or roast a leg of lamb, but the experts have developed ways of deep-freezing partially baked cuts of meat.
Even soup and milk are delivered in the form of frozen bricks."
"Discarded paper table 'linen' and rayon underwear are bought by chemical factories to be converted into candy."
“Housewives in 50 years may wash dirty dishes — right down the drain!
Cheap plastic would melt in hot water.”
"It is easy enough to spot a budding hurricane in the doldrums off the coast of Africa.
Before it has a chance to gather much strength and speed as it travels westward toward Florida, oil is spread over the sea and ignited."
"...physicians have several hundred of these chemical agents or antibiotics at their command."
"The antibiotics are all synthesized in chemical factories.
It is possible to modify their molecular structure, so that they acquire new and useful properties."
"Men and women of 70 in A.D. 2000 look as if they were 40.
Wrinkles, sagging cheeks, leathery skins are curiosities or signs of neglect.
The span of life has been lengthened to 85."
"If old Mrs. Underwood, who lives around the corner from the Dobsons and who was born in 1920 insists on sleeping under an old-fashioned comforter instead of an aerogel blanket of glass puffed with air so that it is as light as thistledown, she must expect people to talk about her 'queerness.'”
Here is an interesting look at a constructed food...