Predictions from 1900

by on May 3, 2007 · 6 comments

Predictions about life in the year 2000, from the year 1900. Including:

On Package Delivery .

.. Pneumatic tubes, instead of store wagons, will deliver packages and bundles. These tubes will collect, deliver and transport mail over certain distances, perhaps for hundreds of miles. They will at first connect with the private houses of the wealthy; then with all homes. Great business establishments will extend them to stations, similar to our branch post-offices of today, whence fast automobile vehicles will distribute purchases from house to house.


On Transportation …

There Will Be No Street Cars in Our Large Cities. All hurry traffic will be below or high above ground when brought within city limits. In most cities it will be confined to broad subways or tunnels, well lighted and well ventilated, or to high trestles with “moving-sidewalk” stairways leading to the top. Cities, therefore, will be free from all noises…

…There will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and water vessels for passenger or freight traffic. They will be maintained as deadly war-vessels by all military nations. Some will transport men and goods. Others will be used by scientists making observations at great heights above the earth…

Fast electric ships, crossing the ocean at more than a mile a minute, will go from New York to Liverpool in two days. The bodies of these ships will be built above the waves. They will be supported upon runners, somewhat like those of the sleigh. … In storms they will dive below the water and there await fair weather.


Communications

…Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place…

Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect with any circuit in their locality without the intervention of a “hello girl”.

Grand Opera will be telephoned to private homes, and will sound as harmonious as though enjoyed from a theatre box. Automatic instruments reproducing original airs exactly will bring the best music to the families of the untalented.

Very Large Produce

Strawberries as large as apples will be eaten by our great great grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence. Raspberries and blackberries will be as large. One will suffice for the fruit course of each person.

And Environmentalism

Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been practically exterminated. Boards of health will have destroyed all mosquito haunts and breeding-grounds, drained all stagnant pools, filled in all swamp-lands, and chemically treated all still-water streams. ..

There will be no wild animals except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated. The horse will have become practically extinct.

  • http://yellowisthecolor.wordpress.com elyzabethe

    That “very large produce” just kind of comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it?

  • http://yellowisthecolor.wordpress.com elyzabethe

    That “very large produce” just kind of comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it?

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    There are lots of wild errors, of course, but I’m impressed by the accurate or even understated predictions. International long distance without operator intervention; motor vehicles completely replacing horses; video sent around the world; streaming audio. And people will live to fifty!

    I really love it when they mix the futuristic with the period: “A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago.” If anyone had a “boudoir” any more, I suppose that would be true.

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    There are lots of wild errors, of course, but I’m impressed by the accurate or even understated predictions. International long distance without operator intervention; motor vehicles completely replacing horses; video sent around the world; streaming audio. And people will live to fifty!

    I really love it when they mix the futuristic with the period: “A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago.” If anyone had a “boudoir” any more, I suppose that would be true.

  • Squoo

    They were right about the tubes but not in the way they intended. The internet is a series of tubes, after all!

  • Squoo

    They were right about the tubes but not in the way they intended. The internet is a series of tubes, after all!

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