What People In 1899 Thought The Year 2000 Would Look Like

If you asked me back in the year 2000, what 2012 was going to be like, I'm not sure I could have given you a good answer. So you could imagine how wrong people back in 1899 were about the year 2000. They thought there were going to be flying firemen!

It's funny to see people's vision of the future mostly because it's ridiculous but also because it's constrained by the reality of their present. People in 1899 didn't know that touch screens and tablets would be a thing, the just imagined more complicated and automated versions of what they already had. They weren't completely wrong though, they knew we would figure out a way to find an electric floor scrubber and invent awesome bathtubs.

The pictures were made by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. The first series of these pictures were produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. [Public Domain Review via Explore]

Barbers aren't quite there yet.


Now we do it with LASERS.

This cracks me up so much.

I think every generation dreams of flying cars.

Rest, relaxation and robots.


    So, with the flying firemen, what you're saying is the these French people invented Batman long before Batman? ;)

    We do have flying firemen - the ones who drop fire retardants onto bush fires from helicopters and planes.

    And the top picture is essentially an audio book

      Or the internet

        or the matrix.

          Or the God particle.

    Actually, I'm a time-traveller from the year 2326 and all of these things have come to pass, except you have to swap the humans with cats.

    Not very far off, especially the first one.

    I predict that in 2100 we'll have people looking back at what was predicted in 2000. I also predict they'll be making predictions for 2200.

      Haha how funny your predictions will look in a century passed.

        Indeed. At that point Skynet will have developed a sense of humour and it will laugh heartily as it siphons the last of the human resistance into its experimental labs.

    There pretty right on the class room one, every kid is listening to there bloody ipod

      They're. Their. Are you one of those kids, and not paying attention in English?

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

          Serious? What was so bad about that?!?!?... Could have just edited any expletives.... My point still stands, surely these people can wrap their heads around a simple typo (Note, I'm not sure if I used the word "Their" in the correct context, just read it as it sounds and you'll survive the internet for another day)

    And theirs prediction talks nothing about terrible clothing being dismiss...

    The funniest thing is they assumed that, obviously, the class system would still be around and women would know their place.

    In 100 years, they'll look back on our society and laugh. And not because of our fashion.

    In the article's title picture, there's a man to the right grinding up the books - Which is fairly accurate, considering most of the schools around my area are starting to give the kids iPad's to replace their physically published, academic counterparts.

    Those flying fireman, though.

    My lungs are in pain from laughter.

    I see the first image as information being injected directly into the brain, not audio. This is science fiction for now, but could very well be science fact tomorrow.

      Isaac Asimov - Profession

      Not sure if prescient, but in that story he does point out a very real problem of education: the sheer amount of training and information that is necessary for an individual to be productive in a specialised, technical profession is truly frustrating our current education system. We need a better way of learning.

    God the least they could do is mabye realise the fashion would change. Flanelettes and high pants must never go out of fashion i supose. Would of loved if they gave the imagination a go

    Loosely interpreted, the final image implying that women will be using mechanised relaxation devices isn't that far off the mark...

      LOL I wonder what the seat of the chair looks like ;p

    In the first image, I'm sure thats how Steve Jobs saw the iTunes store.

Join the discussion!