Things To Come, Forrest J Ackerman 1939 "4SJ" MAN OF THE FUTURE costume FAMOUS MONSTERS of FILMLAND

original movie costume

Originally from the Forrest J Ackerman collection (editor, literary agent, uber-collector and fan, co-creator/editor-FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine, and coined the term "sci-fi"), Ackerman's original 1930s-era "4SJ" THINGS TO COME  Man Of The Future SHIRT that he wore at the 1939 World Con Science Fiction convention in New York City- the world's very first science fiction convention. There is also a pair of vintage striped military pants.

Forry was the first "fan boy" to dress up for a convention-now such a common occurrance! The '4SJ' of course is a synonym for "Forrest J", and Ackerman had dozens of such nicknames (4E, Dr.Acula, SSSSJ, Mr. Sci-Fi. Uncle Forry, FJA, 4SJ, etc.)

 ---- An excerpt of an article written by Ackerman, on the costume:

"Another event at that [1939] convention was my costume, which was based on THINGS TO COME and Frank R. Paul's artwork. Many people have asked me over the years, "Forry, where did you get the nerve to wear that futuristic costume on the streets of New York?" But I think it was sort of like being mild-mannered Clark Kent, going into the telephone booth and coming out as Superman. When I wore that outfit in public, little children were running in the streets of New York crying, "It's Flash Gordon! It's Buck Rogers!" I even got the nerve to go out to the Worlds Fair in it; they had a platform with a microphone, and if you were from Spain, or from Sweden or France or Germany or wherever, you could come up and greet the world in your native language. So I got this quixotic notion to go up and speak in Esperanto to the world, and say that I was a time traveler from the future, where we all spoke this language."

Above are several 1930s vintage photos featuring the outfit in action-
The second photo is the classic image of FJA on the streets of NYC in 1939, wearing this shirt, going to the first ever ci-fi convention.  The cape (which looks to be silk) has long since turned to dust.

In the third photo is Forry with iconic science fiction author Ray Bradbury (both teenagers here) as a monster and "Forrystein"- FJA wearing this shirt before it was adapted for his future THINGS TO COME space costume. The story goes FJA loaned Ray Bradbury $50 so he could go to the 1939 WorldCon convention in NYC with him. They were lifelong friends, and along with third member animator RAY HARRYHAUSEN, formed what  was known as the Hollywood "Bat Pack".

  The fourth photo is Ackerman in space attire with costume designer Myrtle R. Jones (who made both Forry's and her 'suits of the future').    --------------------------

The costume was given by Forrest J Ackerman to longtime friend and director Tim Sullivan (2001 MANIACS), from whom I myself obtained this outfit. It was Sullivan who hosted the Hollywood FJA tribute event at the Egyptian Theater on May 9, 2009.


On the above youtube Ackermansion mini-tour, the shirt can be spotted hanging in his costume closet at "00:13" on the counter. View here if link fails-

Read more about the legendary costume here...  


costume: collector:
category: original / screen-used
type: costumes/wardrobe
coa issued by: Tim Sullivan (2)
celebrity: Forrest J Ackerman (1)
movie: Things To Come (1936)
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