1900: “Visions of 2000″

Electronic education


Flying police

Social flying

Fly-through dining

Flying firefighters

Parties in the sky

Flyign scouts

Flying rescue

Horses as curiosities

Listening to messages

Video communication

Listening to the news




Arriving on the roof

Electric skates

Motorized war

Military bikers

From Paris to Peking by train

Villemard, 1910 Chromolithograph Paris,

BNF, Estampes

31 Responses

  1. Jeff Rients

    The one with the horse on the stage is just killing me. “In the bizarro world of the year 2000 humans will sing duets… with HORSES!” *audience gasps*

      • Dave P

        I think the gist of it is that most folks would have never seen a horse before.

  2. Thomas Arbs

    To think that, while we still build houses and clean bathrooms with the power of our hands, they correctly predicted the tank battles of WW1 by not 90 but only 4 years – scary.

    (Otherwise, why this obsession with flying, if you already realize that problems like traffic jams will persist, even in mid-air?)

  3. Reggie Gray

    How wonderfully mundane! Most of this stuff was between-the-wars at the latest… although the motorised skates feel strangely contemporary.

  4. Bill

    @John: It’s basically a prognostication of text-to-voice systems. Think of that grinder vat as a platen on a scanner. No need to read anymore! Books will be digested and read to you!

  5. Mark

    I think the one with the horse on stage is showing that in that far of time a horse will be so rare that it will be a creature of wonder. Like a unicorn or something. The boy on the left is reacting with shock.

  6. Ten KFSFK

    the first thing i notice is that fashion and culture appear to have remained stagnant and the technologies are just aggrandizements of what was current (in 90 years this guy thought we’d still be using phonographs?) or just pure fantasy (wings on a person has never worked and has been tried since, idk, Icarus).
    everyone is dressed like the 1890s though! their barely up to date for 1910 fashions!!

    • Steve

      I suppose that if he drew things like speakers as we know them today, then the people of 1910 viewing the illustrations wouldn’t know what they were supposed to be. The artist has probably stuck to 1910s equipment in futuristic scenarios in order that the people seeing the pictures would relate to them.

  7. Rowan

    I work in a public place in Seattle where mounted police regularly ride through on patrol. It is amazing how shocked the public are to see a real, live horse. Many of them have literally never seen one in person. Too busy flying, I guess!

    I love the illustration of the flying drive-thru (fly-thru?), only in France would you be able to get a glass of wine in a drive-thru!

  8. Ran Scott

    Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote “A Princess of Mars”, with ‘John Carter of Virginia’, around 1909 or 1910, right about the time of these pictures (except these pictures were probably done before 1900!) The movie “John Carter of Mars” is coming out next spring. We hope it will be faithful to the books in its portrayal of Martian technology, Flying Machines, and creatures, circa 1910.

  9. NicktheLick

    Well, I know what the horse on the stage is all about… I think the guy is explaining that we used to use them for transport (Shock! Horror!). Pretty hard to believe now we have planes, helicopters, cars and motorised skates to use for travel… Well, that’s what I think it’s all about anyway…

  10. Retroamator

    These pics are great – some are eerily prescient (like the ‘vision phone’ with the projector screen) and some are hilarious (like all the ones with people thinking nothing of leaning out of flying vehicles passing each other with no-doubt-deadly propellers spinning inches or feet away). Because in the future, everything is safe! :)

  11. Bonnaners

    My favorite is the picture of the telephone and the projector- basically thats what we get with Skype! Very accurate guess.

  12. Kaitlyn

    I had to laugh at the flying firefighters–imagine, put wings on ‘em and no more need for ladders for those pesky high rise fires….

    The first image made me giggle, too. If only it were that easy to assimilate information–just grind it up and have it transmitted directly to the brain–kinda like those “learn by osmosis” jokes we used to tell in science class…. ;) ‘twould come in handy for my math class… lol

  13. Matt

    No one talked about the picture between the automake-up and the powerskates :

    The two french words are “Janitor” and “Delevator” (descenseur is not an actual french word. An elevator is an “ascenseur”)

    As everyone uses personal planes, the janitor’s room is on the roof. Excellent

  14. Matt

    The engine in the last picture features aerodynamics (though was it more than an esthetic trait at the time?)

    In the picture just before the architect one, nice sewing machine.

    In the two pictures before the horse, nice foresight of helicopters (although the shipwrecked people are saved by a plane and not a coast guard helicopter, the task itself is truly remarkably foreseen)

  15. Maria

    Those pictures are nothing but a fake visions. Except war, we fly through machine and trains. we shouldn’t really predict the future. No man can see it except God.

    • Maggie

      Maria, now as then, it’s just for fun. Not only that, imagination helps progress…. We’d never have Personal Computers, TVs, cars, microwave ovens, cell phones etc if no one ever thought about it ahead of time.

      God helps thought who have imagination.

  16. Tourist

    I enjoy the Chinese man in the final picture. Shows that they understood how integrated the world would become. That’s amazing to me.

  17. Aristocrat

    The people of the 1900′s envisioned the people living in the 2000′s, and the people of the 2000′s created Steampunk.

    Oh, the irony!


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