How Did People in the 1900s Predict Future Technology?


Predicting the future has always been an obsession for mankind. Naturally, we love guessing what the years to come will look like.

In Back to The Future II, Marty McFly travels to October 21st, 2015. We are treated to the 80s vision of what 2015 would be like. They got the biometrics part right, but not the hoverboards (the closest we’ve got is those horrendous Swegways). Nevertheless, it’s always super interesting to see what people guess the future might look like, and then watch their predictions unravel before our very eyes.

1900s artwork of 2000 predictions

Take a look at this French artwork from 1900 predicting how the year 2000 might look. Jean-Marc Côté and other artists designed these to go in cigarette boxes and later, to be printed as postcards.

Bringing a new meaning to Airmail…

We wonder what the logistics of flying postmen would be… it’s an interesting concept but not one that we feel we’re missing out on!

A spot of spring-cleaning?

This one isn’t actually too far off the modern day vacuum cleaner.

Futuristic education

There’s something very creepy about this one. You could argue, however, that it’s reminiscent of computers and social media. That doesn’t make it any less creepy somehow.

Pulling over for a copper… in the sky

There’s something rather comical about the idea of police offers with robotic wings. We love the flying cars to match.

Forget iPods…

The future of digital music was once imagined as a robotic orchestra.

Short, back and sides?

Granted, this automated barber shop may cut Saturday morning wait times. We can’t help but think of a Maximum Overdrive/Edward Scissorhands combo nightmare, though.

(Images sourced from Public Domain Review)

From the past to the present

It’s a weird concept to try and predict tech advancements of everyday tasks. Up until the 1950s, people would pay labourers to knock on their doors and windows to wake them up in a morning. Of course, this job wasn’t replaced by a door-knocking machine, but the humble alarm clock. This is why it’s so hard to predict future technological developments – you have to think outside the realms of what currently exists.


Director / Designer

When Adam isn’t designing websites, you can find him running ultramarathons, cooking up a storm in the Limely kitchen and getting stuck into DIY 🪚

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