About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

Imagine if you were asked to imagine what awaits people 100 years from now, in the year 2121. And it is not about space exploration, but about everyday life and everyday tasks. How we spend our leisure time, what we have in the kitchen, how we move, when we go out and so on.

The task is more complicated than it seems at first glance. So it was not easy for artists who lived at the crossroads of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to portray our present. What they have accomplished is at once sweet, naïve, and funny.

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

The police are chasing the criminal. Illustration Source – here (and beyond) is a public domain.

The illustrations you see in this publication were drawn between 1899 and 1901. The sci-fi series was called “In the Year 2000”. The point, I think, is clear: to show how people will live a hundred years from now.

Various artists under the general direction of the Frenchman Jean-Marc Cote drew it. At first, they put the interesting pictures into cigarette packs (such cartons were specially added for density and weight, and they quickly became collector’s items), and later they released them as postcards.

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

This is how our ancestors imagined the cleaning robot.

The artists did their best. Their works in the spirit of Jules Verne reek of good old-fashioned fiction.

Not surprisingly, years later, the collection of cards became of interest to the famous writer Isaac Asimov. He released them as a separate book, commenting on each of the nearly 100 illustrations. Today, all these pictures are public domain and are very interesting to look at.

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

Look, this is “whalobus”! We mean, it’s a whale bus.

Predicting the future is, of course, a difficult task. If you showed our ancestors a modern robot vacuum cleaner, they would not have understood what it was for. That’s why they drew mechanized cleaning devices with brooms and brushes.

What about electronic music? Our ancestors imagined that these robots would play acoustic instruments, replacing live performers, not understanding how sound could be synthesized.

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

The orchestra of the future plays music without human musicians.

However, if you invite the public to fantasize about the 2100, I’m sure you’ll come up with dozens of ideas! And that’s normal.

It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t know the Internet, or cell phones, or smart watches that measured blood pressure and oxygen levels. Life is changing rapidly. So let’s take a look at the most interesting works from the series “In the year 2000” drawn more than 100 years ago and wonder at the imagination of our ancestors.

School of the Future

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

Here it is not clear what the artist wanted to convey. Either all students in the 2000s are wearing headphones all the time, or they are taught directly to their brains through a cord.

Firefighters extinguish fire from the air by flying on wings

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

The idea of attaching wings to the human body is not new (Da Vinci thought about it), but it constantly crumbled over the principles of physics. Here the authors decided that the people of the future would attach fans to their bodies and finally rid themselves of the forces of gravity. However, it is obvious that firefighters with such wings will only fan the fire even more. 🙂

Robots shear people

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

On the one hand it is a logical idea (after all, everything in the haircut is more or less routine and the process is repetitive). However, the authors did not take into account that people go to barbershops not only for haircuts, but also for communication. Perhaps that’s why we still have more or less the old-fashioned way of doing things, without all kinds of mechanical manipulators.

Machines for automatic sewing suits by measure

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

But that’s a sensible idea! Except that it is practically unrealizable. But it would be great: come, take the measurements and immediately get a freshly sewn suit.

Letter carriers on Aeroplanes

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

Oh God, how funny it looks today! 🙂 If people of the past just knew that paper mail would be almost completely destroyed by e-mails in our years.

Aerial Taxi

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

But this idea is not without logic. To be fair, almost all developed countries are thinking about developing air cabs today (only with cabins without wings, of course).

Video communication in the year 2000

About modeling the future. Or how people in 1899 imagined our life in the 2000s

And this is my favorite picture. Every time I see it, I fall down laughing! 🙂

It’s especially hilarious when I see an assistant pushing some pedals and not knowing what he’s doing with his hand. Perhaps people at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries believed that communication through video would become such a sophisticated technology that it would be impossible to do without a mountain of equipment and an assistant.


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