Thursday, September 27, 2007

Where Are My Flying Cars!!!!


Emily wonders where the flying cars of the future are.

Well, love, life is full of disappointments.

Predictions made in 1901 in the Lady’s Home Journal – some insane, some right on the money, some we’re still hoping for. The full article is here, but I wrote down a simplified version for you.

What I think is actually the neatest thing is the focus agricultural advances that dominate the last 5 predictions. Tells you something about how people were much more connected to the source of food back then.

500 Million People In The United States. Nicaragua and Mexico will ask to join the union. So will most of South and Central America.

The American Will Be Taller by one or two inches. He will live 50 years.

There Will Be No C,X Or Q in our everdya alphabet. They will be abandoned as because unnecessary. English will be spoken more than any other language. Russian will be second.

Hot Or Cold Air Will Be Turned On From Spigots to regulate the temperature of a house. Rising early to build the furnace fire will be a task of the olden times. Homes will have no chimneys because no smoke will be created within their walls.

No Mosquitos Nor Flies. Along with roaches, they will all have been exterminated.

Ready-Cooked Meals Will Be Bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of to-day. (Apparantly today was hyphenated in 1901.)

No Foods Will Be Exposed. Storekeeprs who expose food to air breathed out by patrons or to the atomospher of the busy will streets will be arrested with those who sell stale or adultered prodoce.

Coal Will Not Be Used For Heating Or Cooking. It will be scarce, but not entirely exhausted. Man will have found electricity manufactured by water-power to be much cheaper.

There Will Be No Street Cars In Our Large Cities. All hurry traffic will be below or high above the ground when within city limits. (Oh sweet jesus, were it true – assuming by the term street cars, they mean cars.)

Photographs Will Be Telegraphed From Any Distance. If there is a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of it’s most striking events will be published in newspapers an hour later. Photographs will reproduce all of Nature’s colors.

Trains One Hundred and Fifty Miles an Hour.

Automobiles Will Be Cheaper Than Horses are to-day. Automobiles will have been substituted for every horse vehicle now known.

Everybody Will Walk 10 Miles. Gymnastics will begin in the nursery where toys and games will be designed to strengthen the muscles. Exercise will be compulsory in the schools. A man or woman unable to walk 10 miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling.

To England In Two Days! – through electric ships.

There Will Be Air-Ships but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and water vessels for passenger or freight traffic.

Aerial War-ships and Forts on Wheels

There Will Be No Wild Animals except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated.

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.

Telephones Around the World. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. 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.

How Children Will Be Taught. A university education will be free to every man and woman. Medical inspectors regularly visit the public schools will furnish poor children free eyeglasses , free dentistry and free medical attention of every kind. The very poor will, when necessary, get free rides to and from school and free lunches between sessions. In vacation time poor children will be taken on trips to various parts of the world. Etiquette and housekeeping will be important studies in the public schools.

Store Purchases By Tube. Pneumatic tubes, instead of store wagons will deliver packages and bundles.

Vegetables Grown By Electricity

Oranges Will Grow In Philadelphia

Strawberries As Large As Apples

Peas As Large As Beets

Black, Blue And Green Roses.


Anonymous said...


Wow - thanks, that was interesting!

I think when they say "street cars" they mean something semi-related to the cable cars they have in SanFran to this day - a form of public transit, that ran with electricity. We had them in Detroit, and according to oldsters I know, they were second to none. We sold our system lock, stock and barrel to Mexico City during the 50s (where they are apparently still working!) because the auto industry decided that cars were the wave of the future.

I THINK that's what they mean when they say "street cars." I know until the day she died, my tante always called the bus a street car, so I think buses replaced them...

Michigander Fan

Anonymous said...

Some of the predictions really are spot on, aren't they?

Then there's the no more rats and roaches thing...

And the we'll all walk 10 miles thing. Yeah, if we did that, there'd be about 10 fat people in the whole continent!

Michigander Fan

Anonymous said...

I want my JET PACK! We were promised jet packs!


Jacqueline said...

See I wasn't sure what they meant. We have streetcars in Toronto (exactly what you've described). But then later I think they call cars something else, so you're probably right on that.

Rob Swizzle said...

For an idea of this article is a reaction to, read the first two pages of the Chicago history book "Devil in the White City." It describes the late 19th century as incredibly sooty, smelly period, one in which 1000 trains a day were going in and out of the city and two people were killed daily at level crossings. It's a real eye opening description.

Thanks for the intersting post.

Anonymous said...

"Oranges will grow in Philadelphia."

Give it time.

It got a few other things right. We do watch the progress of the war in the Orient but usually on a small curtain in our homes.

Centralised air conditioning. We have that.

I wished we kept the air ships as the great Zeppelin Battles would have been thrilling.

"And there will be bags of tea as TALL AS A BUILDING in the fantastic world of TOMORROW!"

Whitehorse Fan said...

But will there be tea cups big enough to hold them?

pip/westcoast fan said...

Wow, that's really strange. Just demonstrates how humble we should be in predicting what our great grandchildren's world will look like. While people are great at extrapolating quantitatively from what we already know (a world wide system of pneumatic tubes), we can't very easily make qualitative leaps in prediction and come up with something totally new, like this dandy little World Wide Web we're all communicating on. I predict the future is . . . unpredictable!

mare said...

i wish i got to teach etiquette and housekeeping instead of grade nine social studies. it sounds cooler somehow.

maybe not the housekeeping part. i'm not especially domestic.