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Many modern animated TV series use a floating timeline, in which the characters do not age, but the time period in which the show is set adjusts to match when the episodes are created. The Simpsons is a famous example.

What's the oldest example of this device in literature in general? The Wikipedia article mentions the first Archie comic, which goes back to 1942.

It seems like an interesting question to me, because it requires a medium (like TV) that continues long enough for the device to be relevant, and also it requires having a noticeably changing time period to begin with.

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I'm assuming there are earlier examples, but the first Bobbsey Twins book was published in 1904, and the books used a floating timeline up until the series ended in 1979, with some of the earlier books rewritten in the 1960s to make them more accessible.

Most of the rewrites were motivated by changing technology (automobiles replacing horses and buggies) or changing social standards, particularly in how Sam and Dinah, the black cook and handyman, were portrayed. The Bobbsey Twins and Baby May received the most extreme rewrite; it is a story about the Bobbsey family's adventures searching for the parents of a foundling baby. Since, by the 1960s, sheer numbers of government agencies rendered the original story utterly implausible, an entirely new novel was written about the twins' adventures with a baseball-playing baby elephant (The Bobbsey Twins' Adventures with Baby May). This, however, had a ripple effect, because the original The Bobbsey Twins at Cloverbank was a sequel to the original Baby May. Thus, a second book, The Bobbsey Twins and the Four-Leaf Clover Mystery, was written. It incorporates little material from the original.

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