A 21-year-old reporter and author from Massachusetts wrote this article in 1906, speculating about what the world might properly be like in 2006 — a few of which has truly come true.
But would he have guessed what his personal future held? Joseph Christopher O’Mahoney was named First Assistant Postmaster Common in 1933, and then served as a Democratic United States Senator from Wyoming from January 1934 to January 1953.
Predictions from 1906 about what life & technology would be like in the future
by Joseph C O’Mahoney
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100 years hence
When at the shut of the nineteenth century the philosophers and scientists of the world seemed back upon the work which had been completed for the advancement of civilization during that period, they referred to as it with fact the most fantastic century in the history of the globe.
Higher progress than ever earlier than was achieved throughout these one hundred years in each line of human endeavor, in the improvement of business, the extension of schooling, and the widespread software of humanitarian ideals to authorities.
However already the first six years of the current century have opened up a vista of prospects which, if realized, will dwarf the document of the nineteenth. The invention of radium alone has shattered the most cherished theories of chemistry and physics, and provides promise of still higher discoveries in the future which can be of inestimable influence on humanity.
The wildest dreamers of a century in the past never conceived of anything so astounding as wi-fi telegraphy, now carried by means of to practical perfection. Just as the introduction of steel development worked a revolution in the constructing business twenty years ago, so as we speak is the revolution of concrete. The cheapness and durability of this material is day by day bringing it into higher demand.
None of the disasters to which abnormal buildings succumb, neither hearth nor earthquake, has any very injurious effect on it, and time only makes it stronger. Strengthened with slender metal bars, it is being used throughout the country. Each flooring in such a structure presents a foundation virtually as secure as the rocky crust of the earth itself. Thus the forty-story skyscrapers now planned in New York may have turn into one hundred years therefore lofty pinnacles penetrating as far again into the environment.
Probably the most useful influence of concrete, nevertheless, won’t be in what it’ll do for the firms which own the skyscrapers, however relatively in what it’ll do for the poor.
Suburban districts will grow to be clustered with eight and ten room cottages for the poor, as substantial and cozy as the trendy villa. Enormously increased transportation amenities will render potential and probable the removing to the country of the complete inhabitants which now inhabits the tenement districts.
Predictions from 1906: New York a honeycomb
The tunnels contemplated in New York at the current time will, when completed, type an enormous underground community centering about the Metropolis Hall. Future tunnels will honeycomb the island, so that it’ll be attainable to any portion of the metropolis without as soon as coming into the open air.
The velocity with which the automobiles will run, equaling and even surpassing the fee already attained on the experimental roads in Europe — four hundred and fifty miles in 2 hundred and ten minutes — will permit the individuals whose enterprise carries them every day to the metropolis to stay without inconvenience or loss of time fifty or one hundred miles from the metropolis. [CA Editor’s note: This is about 129 MPH.]
The completion of this underground system will deliver about another transformation. Probably the most elementary of economic axioms is that business follows the visitors; in order that when the population of the metropolis will travel virtually solely underground, all the retail retailers will comply with the lead of some establishments in New York and set up entrances to their buildings immediately from the subways.
Stores of every conceivable variety will line these passages; and on Monday mornings 100 years hence, the housewife will depart her house in the nation one hundred miles away, journey to the city in an hour, finish her discount searching, take lunch, and return with out once coming to the floor from the time she leaves her residence until she will get again.
Not only will these tunnels be used for passenger transportation, but lots of them, like those in Chicago, will be devoted solely to freight. Pneumatic tubes, like those which carry the mails from the submit workplace to the railroad stations, will be installed all over the place for the transportation of merchandise.
See how individuals 100 years in the past imagined automobiles would look in the future (and how mistaken they have been)
This difficult system will virtually get rid of all surface visitors, and consequently, the metropolis lovely will reach its full improvement. Trucking having been banished, all the streets will be reworked into parkways, drives, and boulevards, and it’ll be unattainable to discover a spot offensive to the eye or to the nose inside the boundaries of the future metropolis.
Aerial navigation could have grow to be an completed reality. All distant traveling will be carried on in dirigible balloons or airplanes, following particular routes across continent and ocean as railroad trains and steamships immediately. On the outskirts of the cities will rise lofty towers for the dispatching and reception of the airships.
Every such building will be outfitted with swift elevators, shifting stairways, and platforms just like already in use, but of an infinitely improved sample. In addition, these stations will be immediately related with all the tunnels and subways.
Residence enchancment: Contrivances for comfort
The houses of the individuals will be outfitted with each conceivable contrivance for well being and comfort. The system which, by the use of the thermostat and the ventilating equipment, with slight consideration maintains a good temperature in the office buildings of the present time, regardless of what the circumstances without are, could have been vastly improved upon. Consequently, heating in winter and cooling in summer time will be completely automated.
Clothing will be washed by equipment and dishes also, if certainly such work won’t be finished in nice public laundries and kitchens. But perhaps the housewife will want to have such cleansing finished at house. In that case, it might be potential for her at the shut of every meal to take the tablecloth by the 4 corners and empty its contents, manufactured from some unbreakable material, into a chute.
Down by way of this passage, the dishes will clatter, subjected the whereas to streams of scorching water and of steam, into the basement, the place some mechanism will be able to catch them, dry them, and send them back to the cupboard all clean and shining for the next meal.
Sweeping and dusting will be achieved by air suction. The vacuum cleaner system now in use in trendy office buildings will be universal.
Wireless telegraphy and wireless telephony could have been perfected, and communication over distance will be infinitely easier and nice at present. The microphone and the telephotograph will render it potential for individuals a hundred or extra aside to see and listen to each other as clearly as it they have been seated aspect by aspect.
Not solely will news be despatched by way of the telephone, however live shows and plays as properly. The subscriber, sitting at residence, by merely pressing a button or turning a change, will be enabled to see and listen to the performers.
How specialists assume we’ll reside in the year 2000 (1951)
Farming of the future
The appliance of electrical energy to agriculture will make the farming of the future more productive, more remunerative, and extra nice. Stations scattered throughout the nation districts will furnish power to all the farms in the neighborhood, as in many parts of Germany as we speak.
Chopping, churning, grinding, pumping, threshing, and all different fanning activities will depend virtually absolutely upon electricity. Auto plows, auto harrows, auto harvesters, will drive the horse from the fields as he could have already been driven from the cities.
Electrical lights of great brilliance will make night time work as handy as work by day. Agriculture could have turn out to be a science having to do not solely with electricity but in addition with chemistry, by the use of which the soil will be made extra fertile. New and more nutritive food products will be obtained.
Farms of the future: Domed fields in the year 2000? (1967)
Predictions from 1906: Cleansing and business
Filth and dirt will be effectually banished from the workshop by intricate labor-saving units of a thousand sorts. The economic output will be at the similar time tremendously increased.
Like the automated screw machine of immediately, which turns out 4 thousand screw posts, all absolutely equivalent, in the time it took our grandfathers to make one, the machines of the future will simplify and excellent all work now finished crudely and laboriously by hand. Few if any of the waste supplies 100 years hence will be thrown away.
The economic firms of the future, following in the footsteps of the Normal Oil, will dedicate virtually as much time and labor to the manufacture of byproducts as to the preparation of their principal article of trade. Substitutes for a lot of natural substances, like rubber and wood pulp, the supply of which is being rapidly exhausted, will be found in supplies now thrown away by producers.
Stay Jetsons-style in the house of tomorrow! Ideas for retro-futuristic space-age inventions (1958-1961)
Science in the future
The discovery of radium has given the chemist new worlds to overcome. The transmutation of metals once extra has been introduced within the realm of risk. The development of electrochemistry will deliver forth cheaper and extra thorough methods of refining ore, so that mines now unworkable will once more hum with activity. In like manner, the separation of radium and other rare parts may have been made straightforward and low cost.
The development of the submarine and the airship will make struggle so damaging that it’ll be unattainable. The work begun by the arbitration of international disputes will be delivered to a climax by schooling and straightforward methods of communication, and the peoples of the world will grow to be extra intently united.
All this nice panorama hinges, nevertheless, upon a single factor: the motive power of the future. Already the scientists of the world foresee the depletion of the coal fields and the forests. With out the monumental portions of wood and coal now crucial for civilization, all progress will stop until man can uncover another means of obtaining power.
Makes an attempt at the invention of wind motors and wave motors have been fairly profitable; but the energy thus obtained shouldn’t be generated in quantity sufficient or with steadiness sufficient to suffice.
Predictions from 1906: Wanting towards the air
In consequence, the inventors have turned their eyes towards the sun. The scientists Herschel and Pouillet have discovered by experiment that enough heat is acquired by the earth in one year to liquefy a layer of ice one hundred ft thick encasing the complete globe. If the sun power now expended upon the desert of Sahara yearly might be harnessed, would be greater than enough to supplant the eight hundred million tons of coal now used by the civilized world.
The success of the solar motor at Pasadena, California, which pumps fourteen hundred gallons of water a minute, provides promise that the motive energy of the future has been found. If such is indeed the case, the imagination is staggered by the risk summed up twenty-one years ago by the late Professor. S P Langley of the Smithsonian Institution in the following words:
Future ages may even see the seat of empire transferred to areas of the earth now barren and desolated underneath intense photo voltaic warmth — nations which, for that very trigger, won’t improbably develop into the seat of mechanical and hence of political power. Whoever finds the approach to make industrially helpful, the huge solar energy now wasted on the deserts of North Africa or the shores of the Purple Sea will impact a higher change in males’s affairs than any conqueror in history has executed. He will once more individuals these waste locations with the life that swarmed there in the greatest days of Carthage and of previous Egypt, however underneath another civilization, where man not shall worship the solar as a god, but shall have discovered to make it his servant.