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Category:
Yesterday's Tomorrows

Driverless Cars of Yesteryear

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Why can't Google do a fun ad like this for their robot cars?

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jul 13, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: AI, Robots and Other Automatons, 1950's, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Ghia Jet Turbine Car



Now we know where the sound of the 1966 Batmobile came from.

Be sure to watch until they open the hood.

Details here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Feb 02, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: 1950's, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

An engineer in 1964 looks to the future

From the Hattiesburg American - Feb 18, 1964

Many of the engineers' dreams are soon to become realities. Plans are now under way for twin 110-story towers in New York City which will dwarf the Empire State Building. The tunnel under the English Channel now seems assured. Covered, air-conditioned baseball stadiums are being built to do away with the need for rain checks. And the engineers soon hope to place a man on the moon, the first major step toward the exploration of our own galaxy and the galaxies beyond.

He got all this correct!

Fifty years from now some writer will look back and reflect that the in the 60's an engineer who dreamed of the weekend trip to Mars, the University of Space located on Jupiter, the completely automated home where housework consisted of pushing buttons, the aerial highways and helicars, and other commplace things in the year 2014 was considered a "screwball" by his fellow citizens.

An automated home is the closest to being a reality. The rest of it—not even close.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jan 06, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Predictions, Yesterday's Tomorrows, 1960's

Welcome to 2014!

Here's a prediction that did the rounds of many newspapers and magazines (including this one) back in 1915 and 1916:


The current world population is approximately 7,137,616,500.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jan 01, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Yesterday's Tomorrows

Old age to be only cause of death!

Milford Barnes was the Head of the Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Iowa from 1930 to 1952. The annual Milford E. Barnes Award for Academic Excellence in Biostatistics was established in his honor. He made this prediction in 1934. Evidently, he was an optimist.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Oct 16, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Authorities and Experts, Death, 1930's, Yesterday's Tomorrows

1970s fashion, as imagined in the 1920s

Predictions from 1928 of how women would be dressing in 1978 and beyond, modeled at the "Dream of Fair Women" charity ball. From the San Antonio Light - May 6, 1928:

"It is taken for granted that the honeymoons of that period will be spent in airplanes, and Mrs. Campbell's outfit is distinctly designed for aviation."

"Miss Faith Celli, of London, wore her conception of what the nun of 1980 will wear. It is immediately recognizable as a convent garb, but shown unmistakably the influence of Reinhardt's "The Miracle," particularly in the tall headgear and collar forming plane formation. Several clergymen who saw the costume pronounced it an ideal one, expressing splendidly the simplicity and seclusion of life in a convent of the future."

"It seems to be the more or less general opinion of the women who participate in the ball that the women of the future will go in less and less for skirts. Mrs. Donald Armstrong Jones appeared in a charming walking suit consisting of loose jacket of soft, clinging material, and breeches marking a complete departure from the present day 'plus-fours.'"



Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Sep 01, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Fashion, 1920's, Yesterday's Tomorrows

1980s style

A prediction from 1956 of how people would be dressing in the 1980s.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jun 27, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Fashion, Predictions, Yesterday's Tomorrows, 1950's

Where are our space helmets?

Here's another prediction of yesteryear that never panned out. Found in the Kingsport News - Apr 2, 1959:

J. McLaren Thomson, president of the National Hairdressers Federation, predicts that both men and women will have their hair short by 1999 so that they can wear space helmets. He said women will have a collection of wigs to wear with special dresses for gala occasions.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun May 12, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Space Travel, Hair Styling, Headgear, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Los Angeles 100,000 years in the future


A headline in the Los Angeles Times, Apr 15, 1923. The author of the article, Ransome Sutton, elaborated:

Hairless, toothless, earless, toeless, head-heavy, all the useless scaffolding removed from the body, all the animal instincts erased from the mind, man will sit in a cushioned chair — a Jovian brain in a simplified body, like a dynamo housed in papier-mache — wielding thunderbolts.

So much concerning the inhabitants of Los Angeles in the year 101,923 AD.

Within the memory of old men, Los Angeles has grown into a city of some 700,000 inhabitants. Barring earthquakes, glaciers, acts of God and the public enemy, it should continue to grow, at an increasing rate, so long as mouths can be fed and the inhabitants housed. For it affords attractions of everlasting value — summery sunshine, health, rare air, good soil, scenery, the mountains in the background and in front the sea. Railroads extending to the eastward like a fan, and ocean routes radiating to the westward. Here, more surely than almost anywhere, continuous growth is insured.

Of course, he failed to foresee how bizarre many of the residents of Los Angeles would have become a mere 90 years later, let alone 100,000 years in the future!
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Apr 24, 2013 | Comments (11)
Category: Utopias and Dystopias, 1920's, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Predictions for 2013, made in 1913


Sir Vansittart Bowater, predictor of the future

Back in 1913, Sir Vansittart Bowater, London's new lord mayor, made some predictions for how the world would look like in 2013 [Evening Independent, Dec. 6, 1913]. Now that 2013 has arrived, we can judge how accurate he was:

a horse will excite far more wonder and curiosity in the city than an aeroplane or a dirigible flying over St. Paul's does today
Correct!

the drone of great airships, each carrying perhaps many hundreds of passengers, will also probably be heard across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
Correct!

these new aircraft will require "the protection of pedestrians and householders, possibly by wire netting laid over the housetops and even over the streets."
I'm not sure if he was foreseeing chunks of frozen poop falling from planes (blue ice). If so, his powers of prediction were impressive. But as for the netting, he was incorrect.

the channel tunnel scheme may be a commonplace of actuality, with train services running every few minutes direct from London to Paris
The trains don't run every few minutes, but he got the general idea right, so I'll give him this.

London will assuredly find part relief from the congestion between now and 2013 by the extension of her suburbs
Correct!

postmarks and stamps may exist only as curiosities
Stamps are gradually on the way out, but they're not gone yet. So I'm judging him incorrect on this.

a visit to Mars or the moon [may] be practicable in 2013... by harnessing the elusive ether, by electricity, or by some other at present unknown force capable of off-setting gravitation.
Correct! It was actually in 1914, one year after Bowater made his predictions, that Robert Goddard filed his first patent for a liquid-fuel rocket that would make spaceflight possible.

such awful scourges as cancer and the hidden plague will be as much a memory as plague and the 'black death' are to us today
Not sure what he meant by the 'hidden plague,' but as far as cancer goes, he was unfortunately incorrect.

he certainly will be a bold man in that year who will venture to say a person is dead beyond hope of resuscitation.
No. Dead is still dead.

Overall he scored 5 out of 9. Not bad. Better than most 100-year forecasts.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jan 01, 2013 | Comments (11)
Category: Utopias and Dystopias, Yesterday's Tomorrows
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.