Jan 10, 2014

Grand Predictions

This time of year many pundits are either rehashing the greatest, best, and worst of the past year or offering predictions for the near and distant future. Here are a few from the 1890s predicting life in the 1990s.
“Three hours will constitute a long day’s work by the end of the next century.”

“Longevity will be so improved that 150 years will be no unusual age to reach.”

“In the 1990s, the United States will be a government of perhaps 60 states, situated in both North and South America.”

“In 100 years Denver will be as big as New York and . . . if the republic remains politically compact and doesn’t fall apart at the Mississippi River, Canada will be either part of it or an independent sovereignty.”

“We shall not only restore the dress of our great-grandfathers before we stop, but run the costumes of Adam and Eve a pretty close shave.”

“The waist line will be just below the bosom.”

“Politically, there will be far less money expended in electing officials, I fancy. Many of our leading politicians, out of a job, will be living on the island.” [in jail].

“There will be no need of a standing army.”

“Law will be simplified and brought within the reach of the common people . . . The occupation of 2/3 of the lawyers will be destroyed.”

“Transcontinental mail will be forwarded by means of pneumatic tubes.”

“By the year 1993, the mechanical work of publishing newspapers may be done entirely by electricity.”

“Aluminum will be the shining symbol of that age. The houses and cities of men, built of aluminum, shall flash in the rising sun with surpassing brilliance.”

“Long before 1993, the journey from New York to San Francisco, and from New York to London, will be made between the sunrise and sunset of a summer day. The railway and the steamship will be as obsolete as the stagecoach.”

“Labor organizations will have disappeared, for there will be no longer a necessity for their existence.”