Our New Age


Athelstan Spilhaus Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Our New Age
Athelstan Spilhaus
  • Graphic Design
  • Publication Design

Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus was Dean of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology but was known nationally for authoring a popular syndicated comic strip called Our New Age. Running in more than 100 newspapers around the country from 1958 to 1975, each week’s strip would cover a different scientific principle or theme in an easily understood way, illustrated in comic book style and painting a picture of an exciting future. Started just after the Soviet Union had launched Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, in an age of Cold War angst and concern about the state of American scientific education, Spilhaus sought to capture the imagination of kids (and adults) through the strip. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy told Spilhaus, “The only science I ever learned was from your comic strip in the Boston Globe.” Three different artists illustrated Our New Age over its long run: Earl Cros, E.C. Felton, and Gene Fawcette.