'The Future' Is Not Quite As Awesome As People In The 1920s Thought It Would Be

It’s almost 2014, and we have some pretty impressive gadgets to show for it: The iPad, electric cars, even a smart watch.

But we’re still waiting on some predictions from the 1920s, like an atmosphere scientifically kept to the right temperature and suspension-bridge apartment houses that “will gratify the human desire for novelty and romance.”

Those are just some of the predictions made in this old video from the 1920s, which we first found on Gothamist. It does its best to predict what the future in the new millennia would look like. “In recent years, we have seen enormous changes,” the video says. “The Great War was the war to end all wars. Thanks to everlasting peace and posterity, the 20th century looks bright!

For instance, according to the video, cities should now look a lot like this:

Modern New York City’s architecture isn’t quite so Art Deco-heavy.

New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty

Shutterstock.com / upthebanner

1920s future city

In the 1920s, people thought transportation would be on multiple levels throughout the city.



Today, we have subways that run underground, and some cities have elevated metros, but there are no fancy sky bridges.


1920s future city

Fashion designers forecasted that women would be wearing pants (!!), and an electric body belt that would adapt the body to climactic changes.


Girls teens friends on grass in a park reading a book

No futuristic body belt (yet), but women today do wear pants.

Flickr via wonderlane

As for men: “If he matters at all, he’ll be fitted with a telephone, radio, and containers for coins, keys, and candy for cuties,” the video says.

At least they got the telephone right.

Let’s take a closer look at the super cool headset that was predicted to be part of every man’s wardrobe in the future.

1920s future city


Maybe it’s not so different from Google Glass?

Cities of the future would have broad avenues and new centres of leisure for the sports, arts, and sciences, the video predicts.

1920s future city



Maybe they were envisioning our shopping malls, with movie theatres, restaurants, and other activities.
Getty Images

1920s future city

And people in the 1920s thought we’d all ride monster aeroplanes that could hold 600 passengers, complete with lounges and reading rooms.


Southwest airlines aeroplane plane seats

Instead, aeroplanes today continue to disappoint with small seats and almost zero legroom. No libraries here (unless you’re flying first class, of course).

Flickr/kevin dooley

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