If 2007 is the future, then the future is lame. All the flying cars and ray-guns promised by scientists and science-fiction writers have failed to materialize. Proof of the past’s broken promises can be found at Paleo-Future, a blog devoted to antiquated visions of what today could have looked like. The website recently posted a scanned page of the Ladies’ Home Journal from 1900 that asked “the most conservative minds in America” what the year 2000 would look like.
Here are a few of their expert opinions (with added commentary):
- Efficiency will force Americans to bid goodbye to the letters C, Q, and X. English will be “a language of condensed words expressing condensed ideas.” O RLY? LOL!
- “Ready cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today.” Yeah, they’re called restaurants.
- “Food will be served hot or cold to private houses in pneumatic tubes or automobile wagons.” Well, we don’t have the pneumatic tubes yet, but we do have delivery pizza.
- “Grand Opera will be telephoned to private homes” giving even the “best music to the families of the untalented.” Would listening to my iPod count?
- The Ladies’ Home Journal also predicts central heating, airplanes, and international phone service.
For all its anachronistic predictions, the Ladies’ Home Journal article evokes a better and more-efficient future. Most of today's future visions aren’t nearly so hopeful. Where do you see us 100 years from now? Leave a comment here, or discuss it in Utne Reader’s online salon. —Brendan Mackie
Image from the Library of Congress.