Category:
Yesterday’s Tomorrows

1963 Prediction of Mobile Phones

In 1963 the Mansfield News-Journal predicted that, "Some day, Mansfielders will carry their telephones in their pockets."

So when did the first phone debut that could be carried in a pocket? Depends on the size of the pocket, I guess. But I think it was arguably the Motorola StarTAC, that came out in 1996 — 33 years after the News-Journal prediction.

Mansfield News-Journal - Apr 18, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 15, 2024 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

“Tomorrow’s bombs will destroy fires”

Unfortunately, Seagram's got this prediction totally wrong. Forest fires are now a far bigger problem than they were in the 1940s.

Newsweek - Aug 14, 1944

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 03, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: 1940s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Sheaffer Pen accurately predicted the future

In 1963 and 1964, Sheaffer Pen ran an ad campaign in which they made a variety of predictions about future technologies of the 21st century. The company contrasted these technologies, which must have seemed a bit pie-in-the-sky at the time, with the timeless performance of a Sheaffer pen. The surprising thing is that all their predictions have come true: instant mail delivery, checkbooks that balance themselves electronically, portable visual phones, ring tape recorders, camera sunglasses, credit card rings, electronic translators.

They don't all exist in the specific form that Sheaffer imagined (credit card rings?), but in each case the equivalent or better exists.









Newsweek - Sep 23, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 21, 2024 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Advertising, 1960s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

1999:  Our Hopeful Future

Like most predictive non-fiction, this 1956 volume has both hits and misses throughout. But I was amazed by one page, which predicts flatscreen TVs, a Roomba, and household surveillance cameras, bing-bang-boom!


Read the whole thing here.




Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 01, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Predictions, Yesterday’s Tomorrows, Books, 1950s

No more queues in grocery stores

We got the computerized food scanners, but we've still got checkout lines. What happened?

North Bay Nugget - May 29, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 18, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, 1970s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

What will the telephone be like when I grow up?

The day is coming when you will be able to reach any telephone in the country simply by dialing a number.

Perhaps some day in the future you may just speak the number into the transmitter and get your party automatically.

The introduction of universal direct dialing was a pretty safe guess in 1953, since direct dialing had, by then, already been introduced in some places.

It's more impressive that the ad writers also successfully predicted the introduction of voice recognition technology.

Life - May 18, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 11, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Telephones, 1950s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

House of Tomorrow:  1969

Watch the video below the screenshot.





Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 09, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Domestic, Hobbies and DIY, 1960s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

The New Domestic Landscape

Fifty years ago, a group of designers, showcased at MOMA, tried to predict the way we'd live.

As usual with these efforts, there were more misses than hits.

More pix here and here.








Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 29, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Domestic, Museums, 1970s, Europe, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Opti-onics, the Technology of the Future

I suppose this came true, if you can say your phone and tablet use something vaguely similar to Opti-onics!

Go to source to enlarge the text for reading.



Posted By: Paul - Sun May 07, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Computers, 1940s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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