Hugo Gernsback

Magazine collection

1920 - Science and invention - Vol. 8, No. 2

Hugo Gernsback (1884–1967), born in Luxembourg, whose family comes from Baden and who received his technical education in Bingen, emigrated to America in 1904. There he founded the modern genre of science fiction literature with the publication of magazines such as »Amazing Stories« (1926–1929) and »Wonder Stories« (1929–1936).
As one of its most important founders of the genre, Gernsback provided valuable inspiration for inventive and experimental work in the field of technology and had a significant influence on the youth interested in new inventions. The title of the exhibition »The Gernsback Prophecy«, which was shown at ZKM | Karlsruhe in 2013, refers to the multitude of his predictions on the future development and application of solar power plants, flat-screen TVs, or wireless telegraphy.
The eponym of the »Hugo Award«, which annually honors the best works of science fiction literature, made a decisive contribution to the popularization of electronic culture in America as a visionary. As editor and author of numerous science fiction magazines and a variety of generally understandable magazines and books on topics such as radio, television, (household) electronics, bionics, the conquest of space, automation and telematics, Gernsback was able to convey his enthusiasm and knowledge to numerous readers.

Hugo Gernsback's magazines in the years from 1908 onwards provided valuable inspiration for inventive and experimental work in the field of technology, especially in electrical engineering and radio and radio technology, which at that time was in its infancy. With these publications, he awakened the interest of an entire generation in technology and new inventions. For the cover pages and the various illustrations of his magazines he used outstanding artists and draftsmen. As the responsible editor, Hugo Gernsback has written numerous editorials, as well as articles and books.

The ZKM | Karlsruhe owns a collection of about 120 journals in the series »Science and invention«, »Practical electrics«, »Radio news«, »The experimenter«, »Amazing stories«, »Radio-craft«, and »Science and mechanics« from the years 1916 to 1948.

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