View Full Version : What they thought the future would be like

01-13-2008, 10:01 PM
There's a blog dedicated to collecting previous generations' concept of the future, Paleo-Future (http://www.paleofuture.com/), "a look into the future that never was".

In particular, I like French Prints Show the Year 2000 (1910) (http://www.paleofuture.com/2007/09/french-prints-show-year-2000-1910.html)

The motorcycles look close to correct, though present-day motorcycles have all-transparent windshields, and some of the other stuff has come partially true, though in rather different forms than was depicted; the likes of YouTube do what Correspondence Cinema does, but in a rather different sort of way.

The airplanes are what's typical of the time; the artists did not anticipate metal-body construction making biplanes essentially obsolete in a few decades; the main survivors are crop dusters and the like. Likewise, the artists did not imagine metal-body trains.

And although it is possible to travel from Paris to Beijing by train, it requires several changes of train along the way, and though most of the route is now electric, the part through Mongolia is still non-electric.

The radium lighting is an indication of the rather curious flip-flip in much of the public mind about radioactivity and nuclear energy, from being excessively positive about it (radium-containing patent medicines like Radithor, etc.) to excessively negative about it (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance being renamed Magnetic Resonance Imaging, etc.).

And they failed to anticipate some typical present-day clothing styles, like women usually wearing pants.

More broadly, it's interesting to see what happened and what didn't happen. Artificial intelligence has continued to be much worse than what had been hoped for, but nobody anticipated the Internet or the popularity of hypertext (webpages with links) or text-based messageboards or text-based instant messaging.

01-13-2008, 10:12 PM
Pretty interesting though I didn't read the whole thing yet. I did read about the changes predicted for women in 2000. I do think that most of my daughters girlfriends are taller than the average girl when I was growing up. I found it funny that one designer predicted we'd be wearing panther skin boots. I can imagine the PETA people stoning you for wearing them. Thanks for sharing this. I'll have to go back later and read more.