The vintage postcard above goes even further, as an architect programs robot workers to build his newly designed structure.Not a far cry from modern manufacturing, you might think.

Titled “Utopie”, Villemard’s retro art is almost steampunk in style despite pre-dating that movement by at least 50 years.

Projecting his ideas of 21st century life onto the technology of the time, Villemard conjures a world that, as Keith Wagstaff writes in the Utopianist, is actually pretty accurate, predicting electric trains, monorails and teleconferencing, to name just a few.

In the top image, a teacher feeds books into a meat grinder to be served up to the class in the form of digital knowledge – thus envisioning the podcast, as Wagstaff points out.

To protect themselves, censorship committees were set up by shopkeepers in some resorts, including Hastings, Brighton and Blackpool, to ban the worst cards.

The Tory campaign lasted for about a decade but fizzled out in the early 1960s when public attitudes to sex became more liberal and open.

Nick Hiley, curator of the British Cartoon Archive, said: ‘What is interesting is that at the time the authorities thought they were a door opening into hell and a slippery slope to degradation.

In the years prior to the dawning of the new millenium, there was an intense exitement for what the year 2000 might hold for the world. Wells did so in The Time Machine, while George Orwell examined an altogether more dystopian future in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Thick with double-entendres, busty bathing belles, naughty vicars and henpecked husbands, the images may have been a hit with British holidaymakers who bought up to 16million of them every year during the 1950s.

A new exhibition displaying 1,300 titillating postcards, seized by police between 1951 to 1961, is being held by the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent.

The display features cards that were seized by police in Margate, Kent.

After being presented to magistrates, the owners would be summoned to court and if the courts were persuaded that the postcards were obscene, they would be destroyed.