Our World Has Seen Tremendous Changes In The Last 100 Years. Maybe You Have Thought About What People Had In Mind About The Future About A Century Ago.
Predicting the future is risky; For this reason, many people who try to predict the future do so in vague language; A language that quickly opens the way for different interpretations.
Nostradamus is someone who many believe could predict the future to some extent, But much of it stems from the fact that almost no one has adequately understood his writings. Thus, anyone can interpret his mysterious prophecies, which are made in a heavy and incomprehensible language, in any way.
These facts still haven’t prevented many attempts to predict the future. Those who lived about a century ago certainly had no qualms about imagining the world of the future, and of course, they had terrific visions. According to the Grunch website, some of these ideas and predictions came true.
Meanwhile, some are still far from the reach of us humans. A bunch of these predictions was downright crazy. For example, there was a strange obsession with living underwater and even riding giant seahorses in the past that never materialized.
Although the ruined city imagined by science fiction gets attention, when you look at what people predicted for the early 21st century, you realize what an exciting world they described. The amazing thing is not the accuracy of people’s predictions about 100 years ago but the collective optimism of humans. This article will take a quick look at the world people predicted 100 years ago.
Constant trips to the moon
There is no debate in this regard; Because we humans have told stories about travel and life on the natural moon of the earth, the moon, thousands of years ago. A common theme in many stories is the safe assumption that travel to the moon will eventually become familiar. It is certainly not surprising that people at the beginning of the 20th century and a little before that were sure that the moon would be an accessible destination for us humans.
Joseph Glanville, an English writer, predicted in 1661 that a trip to the moon would one day be as easy as a trip to America, which was not so easy then. Jules Verne, a famous French writer, also published the book “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1865. This fascinating science fiction book describes even a precise method of traveling to the moon by space train.
In the picture postcards from a century ago, you can see images of flying cars (with propellers in front of the body), which were suitable vehicles for traveling to the moon. The fantastic thing that can be seen in this postcard is the exciting assumption that you can pack your bags (even on the roof of flying cars) and go on a trip to the moon just as you can get on the train cars and go to the nearest forest park and recreation center with your family.
Meanwhile, F.E. In 1930, Smith predicted that humans would travel to Mars in just a few years. This is a prediction that nearly 100 years later, is still being revised many times, its timings are changing, and it is not known when it will come true.
One of the standard predictions of people 100 years ago was the widespread use of video phones. Interestingly, even before the airplane was invented, people had a clear idea of devices similar to today’s Zoom software. An attractive postcard from the early 20th century shows a fashionable lady in Paris conversing with a man (apparently in China).
In a similar painting (pictured above), we see a man reclining on a sofa, talking to a woman shown on a large screen (more like a tall mirror). The device we see with the cochlear speakers of the gramophone and the mouthpiece of the old telephones, But the whole idea is crazy.
Perhaps the reason for this particular position of the video phone in popular culture should be sought because the necessary technologies existed at that time. Nikola Tesla predicted video conferencing in 1926, and the idea of video calling was first demonstrated in practice a year later. Likewise, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that video calls would be wholly standard and readily available to everyone within a few decades. Meanwhile, video phones have been a constant presence in movies and science fiction.
Flying cars have always been symbols of science fiction and futuristic stories. The number of flying cars in future predictions is such that it is sometimes even joked that the lack of access to passing cars in the 21st century may be due to insufficient technological progress.
The history of flying cars goes back to the distant past. A series of postcards were published in the Victorian era (1837-1901) in which various types of vehicles and other flying devices were vividly painted. In one of these postcards (pictured above), we see a postman riding a flying car and delivering letters to people.
A little less than a century ago, F.E. Smith predicted that people would use personal flying cars to travel to different parts of the world. Traveling from London to Greenland for skiing could be done in a few moments.
Maybe we’ll get there really soon. Now many companies are working on small electric planes. These flying planes take off and land without the need for a runway. If these small planes pass the test stage and receive the necessary permits, we may soon see the day when flying cars are flying all over the world’s cities.
Robots will be everywhere.
Although the concept of artificial beings has a long history in human history, the term “robot” first entered the dictionary around 1921. This year, Karl Chapek, a Czech writer, and philosopher wrote the play “Rosom’s World Robots.” In this play, the central theme of the mechanization of the world and the relegation of humanity, he used the Czech word “robata,” meaning forced labor, which was derived from the Slavic word meaning “slave.”
However, most people moved away from Chapek’s original concept and envisioned a glorious future where robots would do all our manual work, from cutting hair to cleaning houses. As predicted 100 years ago, robots will clean the homes of at least some of us humans in the 21st century. Still, none of today’s automatic vacuum cleaners, such as the Roomba, are as interesting as the spider machines depicted in early 20th-century postcards.
However, not everyone was optimistic about the robots. F.E. In 1930, Smith predicted that our world would be largely mechanized and that humans would no longer need to work long hours. At the same time, he believed that people would suffer from extreme boredom and frustration.
With this situation, another exciting prediction was that humans would easily reach 150 years of age. This makes it difficult for younger people to enter the labor market; Because when 120-year-old people are still busy with a bag of experience, no one can easily take their place.
About 100 years ago, cars had just entered our world, and it still took some time to become familiar. Therefore, it is understandable that few futurists envision a modern machine-driven world. Hence, many future predictions are based on the train. At that time, the train was one of the most popular means of public transportation. Everyone imagined better trains with incredible speed when talking about a better future.
In 1900, an engineer named John Alfred Watkins published an article describing his prediction of life in the 21st century. One of his predictions, which came true a long time ago, was the emergence of high-speed trains that can travel more than 450 kilometers per hour. At the same time, Asia Express American high-speed trains travel at a rate much higher than 540 km/h. Japan’s bullet trains have even overtaken them and move at a staggering speed of more than 720 kilometers per hour.
Of course, to defend the people of that time, we must say that the speed of trains at the beginning of the 20th century was between 100 and 120 kilometers per hour. Some other train-oriented predictions were hybrid cars with caravans. In one of the postcards from the early 20th century, we see a couple moving on the train tracks with a vehicle similar to an open carriage, and the passers-by are terrified to see their incredible speed.
During the Great Depression and after a sharp drop in demand for expensive passenger cars, the Bugatti car company decided to give the idea of Autorail, i.e., passenger cars that run on a different engine, a try. Tutorials that rolled off the production line in the early 1930s could travel at 190 km/h.
New York City is not going to move and move closer to you. The only immutable rule of cities and towns is that you must travel to live there. In the early 20th century, an artist predicted that entire cities might be placed on unique platforms and hauled by locomotives. The artists of that time were so bold that they even specified a date for their prediction and believed that by 2000, this prediction would become a reality.
Moving an entire city on paper will have many advantages. Flooding in the city can be prevented, and citizens can also move to areas with good weather every year by choosing the city’s location. However, it has not been expected to see cities driving on highways; However, it was not unusual to see buildings transported by trucks and trains.
As crazy as the general idea of moving cities is, it must be said that this idea has a history. A famous example dates back to 1900. That year, an iron ore mine was discovered in Hibbing, Minnesota. A mining company located this mine just below the city. Thus, the city decided to change location. At that time, the buildings were placed on rollers and taken by tractor to a new site several kilometers away.
Cities with roofs and domes
The idea of putting a dome or a roof over the cities to control the weather is a fantastic idea from 100 years ago. In a sense, since the beginning of creation, humans have wished to prevent the destruction of rain. In one of the popular postcards of the 20th century, a town depicted a vast covered roof. This roof can protect the city from heavy rains; in these cases, the city’s light is provided by large electric lamps.
This idea was not going to fade quickly. In 1949, a researcher published an article in which he suggested that it would be better for New York City to be placed under a large roof to have direct control over the weather. Buckminster Fuller, a famous architect and futurist, proposed in the 1960s that the Manhattan area of New York be placed under a dome. A decade later, another visionary named Athelstan Spillhouse came along and offered to build a dome over a city in Minnesota. This idea was even going to be implemented, But a group of opponents finally managed to shut down the project.
Although those old postcards were exciting and attractive, unfortunately, we are still not closer to building domed cities as we envisioned in 1900 or 1921; We have also moved further. Today, engineers and architects are focusing more on making city buildings more intelligent and more environmentally friendly.
If we are going to look for a constant theme for 100 years despite all the predictions of people, it is undoubtedly a matter of laziness! Except for flying cars and worker robots, people of that time thought that all cities would be one day equipped with moving sidewalks. With these sidewalks, there is no need, for example, for someone to take extra trouble to go from home to the supermarket. A writer named Moses Folsom predicted in 1921 that all cities would use this technology in the future.
The people of that time had good reason for moving sidewalks in the future. Moving sidewalks were one of the latest inventions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Experimental samples of these sidewalks were exhibited at the 1893 World Fair in Chicago and another example at the 1900 World Fair in Paris.
The example of Paris was about 3 kilometers long. Even Thomas Edison, who was present at this exhibition, filmed this sidewalk. This sidewalk traveled at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour and had a slower path and a fixed path that allowed easy entry and exit.
The idea of moving sidewalks was popularized again in the 1920s. However, although this idea was always mentioned as part of future cities, it was never widely adopted. However, you can now see small examples of moving walkways in theme parks and airports.
Fully mechanized farms
According to the available statistics, the world’s current population is around 7.8 billion, and feeding this number of people is challenging. We can now afford to provide for this large population because of mechanized agriculture on a massive scale. One hundred years ago, our world was more miniature, and agriculture was smaller scale and more dominated by small farms with individual ownership. Still, people had innovative ideas when it came to predicting the future.
In one of the old paintings, the subject of which is “France in the year 2000”, we see a happy farmer remotely controlling a tractor in his field. In another image, a woman is shown pouring eggs into a machine and chicks hatching at the other end of the device. This image is similar to many methods used in electric cages for laying hens, which are still widely used.
One of the exciting aspects of these predictions is their need for humans. As incredible and exciting as machines were for humans 100 years ago, they still couldn’t imagine any device without levers and buttons to control. The idea of automation was far from the mind.
The idea that we could one day control the weather is genuinely incredible. This idea had many supporters among futurists 100 years ago. However, if you’ve ever seen your crops ruined by a lack of rain or floods hit your home, you’ll vote for any climate control plan.
Among a collection of postcards published in 1900 and depicting the future in the 21st century, you can see a drawing of a weather control device. This device can quickly turn a rainy day into a bright sunny day.
The idea wasn’t completely crazy. In 1891, the U.S. government allocated many funds to a man named Robert Dyrnforth to investigate the idea of making rain in Texas. The results of this researcher’s findings were announced without a definitive result. In the 1950s, scientists thought they were on the verge of influencing the weather and even considered using it as a weapon.
The dream of turning a knob or pulling a lever and watching clouds disappear or rainfall is still alive. The Chinese government is seriously considering the widespread use of rain machines and has already installed cloud fertilization equipment in large areas of the country. These methods are not as interesting as the devices painted on postcards 100 years ago, But they are a good start.
Fully machine learning
Anyone who has ever fallen asleep in a boring class or stared in horror at an exam paper must have thought there must be a better way to learn. The people who lived 100 years ago at the beginning of the 20th century agreed.
Among the collection of postcards from 1900, there is an exciting postcard (pictured above) that shows students in a classroom. They’re wearing what looks like telepathic headphones or hats, and a happy teacher is dumping books into the car. A student is also turning the handle. The meaning of this exciting painting is that the books are somehow converted into electrical knowledge and then fed to the students through particular waves.
An article by Thomas Anderson in 1900 stated that education in the future would be more equal and universal and less exclusive to the aristocracy. The knowledge that is pumped directly into children’s brains seems to be in line with this idea. This postcard aligns with other predictions of education.
A prediction about education from 100 years ago has still not come true. In 1900, John Alfred Watkins Jr. predicted that physical education would begin in kindergarten and that all children would acquire incredible physical powers. Although physical education is now prevalent in most schools, we are still far from creating the superhuman men and women this scientist considers (if such an idea has been proposed!)
Content platforms like Netflix
Many now ask how people entertained themselves at home 100 years ago. In those days, indoor entertainment was minimal; But that didn’t stop people a century ago from envisioning a better future full of home entertainment.
Charles Steinmetz, an inventor and mathematician, published an article in 1921 describing some of his predictions. He wrote in this article: “There is no need to go to a crowded hall with bad ventilation to watch a musical show. Music [in the future] will be produced by the central station and distributed to all subscribers. And you will listen to it while sitting in your library.”
One of the postcards of 1900 even went further and stated that music and moving images are spread in homes in this way. Although this idea of accurately predicting television years predates its invention, images are projected on projectors rather than screens, which makes perfect sense; Because cinema technology was well-known and considered very advanced at that time.
Another postcard shows a musical concert performed by a fully automated band. In this postcard, the conductor produces all the music with special buttons and levers, An idea that sounds precisely like DJing in the early 20th century.