Most of you probably don’t remember how back in the mid 1950s Purina Europe was experimenting with some highly experimental cost-cutting methods in their dog food division. Like many important world organizations, Purina, like their equals the United States and Soviet Union, were able to take top scientists from a vanquished Germany to help develop their own personal projects. Where the US and USSR mostly divided up Germany’s rocketry experts, Purina got ahold of Ludvig Von Wisencocker, an anti-gravity researcher.
Purina realized that any cost-cutting to their dog food itself would be met with immediate pushback from consumers, who were unreceptive to previous Purina cost reduction efforts like dog food that was 70% sawdust and insect carcasses or dog food made with “canine protein.” So, they decided that the best approach to money saving was in the reduction of shipping costs, which is where Von Wisencocker’s work came in.
The scientist developed a highly-concentrated material (the composition of which has been lost to time) that actually managed to repel gravity by measurable amounts. Pellets the size of a marble could displace up to a pound, so Purina began including 10 of these pellets into every 20 pound bag of dry dog food, effectively halving the shipping costs.
The plan was the pellets would be sewn into the sides of the bag, and could be returned to the store to get deposit money back, much like how glass Coca-Cola bottles were handled, and then Purina would re-use the valuable pellets.
The problem was that hungry dogs would often chew through the bags and eat the pellets, which would cause them to radiate anti-gravity waves until the passed them as floating dog shit.
The image above is one from this era, depicting the occasional phenomenon of a dog that had eaten enough pellets to cause even a large object like a car to be affected, and then the panicked dog would run around, a hovering car floating above, trapped in the anti-grav rays being emitted upwards (because of the repulsive reaction to normal gravity, you see) the people inside resigned that they would now be taken wherever the dog wants to go.
I’m surprised this incredible bit of history isn’t referenced more often! Bonkers, right?
BTW, glass Coca-Cola bottled are still handled like that: you return them to the store and get your deposit back. Maybe not in the US, but generally speaking, that is still how it is done.
Brunhilde: “Klaus, Fahr schneller! That’s the third dog that’s passed us on just this road!”
Klaus: “Ja, ‘buy the Opel’ she said. ‘I’m sure it’s fast enough’ she said. Verdammt, I could have had a Mercedes!”
Persuasive 50’s advertising…
“As one can see in this image, the motorized car IS moving faster than an average collie at full gallop”
Well it IS an old Opel, and with passengers in it, so that is actually quite an accomplishment.
“Yeah my salesman said this baby has a 1,450 Dogpower engine under the hood.”
I like that unit for measuring engine power. Let’s make it a thing,
“Hmmph, you reckon’ you gotta fast car huh?
I betcha my Elmer can beat you to that yonder Cottonwood tree.
Why are there blurry speed lines on the car, yet none on the dog? I think this is actually a picture of a car speeding past a dog carcass. The poor animal, laying there, motionless, dead-eyed, tongue hanging out of its mouth, as rigor mortis sets in and decomposition gasses slowly build inside the body, while the calloused passengers of the red Opel can’t even spare a look out the window and possibly risk shedding a tear for this gentle beast. Kind of morbid advertising, if you ask me. Alas, poor Lassie. I knew him, Timmy. A dog of infinite zest, of most excellent fancy. He hath saved you from that well a thousand times…where be his barks now? his yipping? his flashes of butt-licking that were wont to set the table on a roar?
. . . and the afternoon spectacle of strangers trying to climb down from a hovering car in our back yard after Lassie returns home and “does her chores” (as my dad would euphemistically refer to that).
It really bothers me that the dog isn’t in the same perspective as the car. Either the dog is tilted slightly to its right or the car is tilted to its left.
The car is obviously tilted to its left. That’s what happens with a floating car when both passengers sit in the left-hand seats. Just like a small boat. Their luggage in the trunk has probably slid over to the left side too, exacerbating the problem.
Dog sure is happy
Ha ha! I love your alternate histories, Torch! This one is almost as convincing as that one you wrote about “self-driving cars” (LoL): https://www.amazon.com/Robot-Take-Wheel-Autonomous-Driving/dp/1948062267
(Seriously, though, this is a great book and I highly recommend it. Very thought-provoking, and just provoking in general.)
This is exactly the sort of investigative journalism I visit The Autopian for!
Here I thought that this was the Romney’s road trip before they thought of strapping the dog onto the car.
Jason, when they gave you picture prompts in grade school, did they often send you down the hall to talk with the nice lady after you turned in your work?
Never change, Torch.
Man……And I thought I was the only one taking acid this morning.