Photo illustration by Zélia at ILOVEGRAPHICS.NET

It's August, 1928. A Ford Model T sputters past the newsstand where your ten-year-old self stands motionless, gawping at the cover of Amazing Stories. A man confidently hovers above a field in a fitted helmet and skin-tight red jumpsuit. He waves at a woman — smitten with his prowess — as two lesser men sulk into the periphery, envious of the magical harness strapped to our hero's back.

The Frank R. Paul illustration on the cover is the first mainstream depiction of a personalized jetpack some thirty years before a team of crafty Nazis would reportedly build the first working prototype. Incredibly, Amazing Stories, Volume 3 Number 5, also contained the inaugural Buck Rogers story, Armageddon--2419 A.D. That's two stories of rocket-propelled humans for just twenty-five cents... not bad.

Now, fast forward to 2011. You're 93 years old, Germany is a democracy and electric cars are all the rage. And even though televisions now babysit your grandchildren you still don't own a jetpack. Of course, even Buck Rogers had to wait until the 25th century for his, so quit your moaning and reminisce with us as we look back at the age of jetpacks that never was.