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Thu Jan 5, 2012, 02:16 PM

Predictions of the future from The Ladies Home Journal in 1900



Some of these are amazing in their accuracy.

Prediction #9: Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later. Even to-day photographs are being telegraphed over short distances. Photographs will reproduce all of Nature’s colors.

Prediction #10: 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. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place. Thus the guns of a distant battle will be heard to boom when seen to blaze, and thus the lips of a remote actor or singer will be heard to utter words or music when seen to move.

Prediction #18: Telephones Around the World. Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect with any circuit in their locality without the intervention of a “hello girl”.

Prediction #19: Grand Opera will be telephoned to private homes, and will sound as harmonious as though enjoyed from a theatre box. Automatic instruments reproducing original airs exactly will bring the best music to the families of the untalented. Great musicians gathered in one enclosure in New York will, by manipulating electric keys, produce at the same time music from instruments arranged in theatres or halls in San Francisco or New Orleans, for instance. Thus will great bands and orchestras give long-distance concerts. In great cities there will be public opera-houses whose singers and musicians are paid from funds endowed by philanthropists and by the government. The piano will be capable of changing its tone from cheerful to sad. Many devises will add to the emotional effect of music.



http://www.yorktownhistory.org/homepages/1900_predictions.htm

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Predictions of the future from The Ladies Home Journal in 1900 (Original post)
pokerfan Jan 2012 OP
ret5hd Jan 2012 #1
Warpy Jan 2012 #5
eShirl Jan 2012 #18
eppur_se_muova Jan 2012 #2
Celebration Jan 2012 #3
eridani Jan 2012 #4
pokerfan Jan 2012 #6
progressoid Jan 2012 #14
laconicsax Jan 2012 #16
pokerfan Jan 2012 #17
Dead_Parrot Jan 2012 #10
AlecBGreen Jan 2012 #7
pokerfan Jan 2012 #8
Dead_Parrot Jan 2012 #9
Odin2005 Jan 2012 #11
laconicsax Jan 2012 #12
pokerfan Jan 2012 #13
laconicsax Jan 2012 #15
BlueJazz Jan 2012 #19

Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 02:45 PM

1. Well, let's look at a few they got wrong:

No mosquitos or flies
Everybody will walk 10 miles
Strawberries as large as apples
Peas as large as beets


but overall, especially if one gives a little leeway ("store purchases by tube" vs Amazon) pretty accurate.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 07:55 PM

5. And they anticipated high speed rail

They just didn't anticipate that the unchecked greed of the ultra rich would prevent its development here in the US.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 12:47 AM

18. I've had one or two supermarket strawberries as large as small apples

from a neglected old tree

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 02:48 PM

2. No C, X, or Q in our everyday alphabet ...

obviously he didn't see the emergence of "high tech" names like Qinetiq, Xerox, and the like.

When you assume that people will improve things rationally, you are bound to make errors of prediction.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 04:18 PM

3. overall, pretty darn amazing! n/t

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 07:50 PM

4. The biggest thing that futurologists of the 40s and 50s got wrong

Knowing that there were large airplanes and large computers, they assumed that of course everyone would want a small personal plane, but not, for some reason, a small personal computer.

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Response to eridani (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 08:08 PM

6. To be fair

Who could have anticipated personal computers in the 50s?



My thumb drive holds thousand of times more data and it hangs on my key-chain.

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 03:46 PM

14. Love that pic!



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Response to pokerfan (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 10:02 PM

16. I thought about that picture today when I bought this:

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 10:28 PM

17. Victorinox announced a 1TB thumb drive at CES this week



The price? If you have to ask, yadda yadda. But just the fact that it exists is pretty amazing.

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Response to eridani (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 11:55 PM

10. What's interesting about this piece...

...is they still managed to get some applications down - picture sharing, webcams and streaming audio. Not too shabby.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 10:25 PM

7. Socialist claptrap!

"A university education will be free to every man and woman."

What were they smoking? Dontcha know its way better for the economy for people to graduate in debt up to their eyeballs? Keeps em focused!

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Response to AlecBGreen (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 11:37 PM

8. education is the silver bullet

Mallory, education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That's my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet. -Sam Seaborn on The West Wing

When I went to the state university in the seventies, tuition was $350 per semester. Today it's $5K. When I graduated I was broke but at least I wasn't in debt.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2012, 11:49 PM

9. "Store purchases by tube"

Not only predicting amazon.com, but Ted Stevens as well.
Scary.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 01:05 AM

11. Lotta ecological ignorance, tho: "There will be no wild animals"

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 02:48 AM

12. They sure got a lot wrong there...

 

I wouldn't say any of it is amazing in accuracy. They got a few things partially right, but that's about it.

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 02:37 PM

13. Considering it was 1900

I thought the telecommunications predictions were amazing. Remember that this was about eighty years before the cell phone and about fifteen years before coast to coast land lines. Telephones looked something like this:



and they're talking about sending pictures wirelessly from anywhere in the world.

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 06:57 PM

15. I didn't say it was all wrong, just mostly.

 

If you toss out enough predictions, you're bound to get a couple right.

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Response to pokerfan (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 09:21 AM

19. I'm glad the "small plane for everyone" thing never happened.

 

I can't even drive to the store without some nut cutting across 3 lanes and almost hitting someone.

There would be Planes crashing into houses all day long!

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