These Amazing 100-Year-Old Predictions Helped Shape The Last Century

predict future

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In an issue of Ladies’ Home Journal circa 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. wrote up a list of predictions that people could expect to see 100 years later.This wild document has been scanned and shared by How To Be A Retronaut.

It’s a tremendous piece of writing that shows how imaginative, thoughtful, and accurate people can be when contemplating the future.

Of course, some of the predictions sound ridiculous to us now.

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[slide
permalink=”there-will-be-no-c-x-or-q-in-our-alphabet-1″
title=”There will be no C, X, or Q in our alphabet.”
content=”‘Spelling by sound will have been adopted, first by the newspapers. English will be a language of condensed words expressing condensed ideas.’

FALSE: We still actively rely on those letters.

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[slide
permalink=”hot-and-cold-air-from-spigots-2″
title=”Hot and cold air from spigots.”
content=”‘Hot or cold air will be turned on from spigots to regulate the temperature of a house as we now turn on hot or cold water from spigots to regulate the temperature of a bath.’

TRUE: We regulate the temperature in our houses with heat or air conditioning.”
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[slide
permalink=”photographs-will-be-telegraphed-from-any-distance-3″
title=”Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance.”
content=”‘If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later.’

TRUE: E-mail makes this completely possible.”
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[slide
permalink=”trains-150-miles-an-hour-4″
title=”Trains 150 miles an hour.”
content=”‘Trains will run two miles a minute.’

TRUE: Chinese high-speed rail currently tips the charts, running at 217 miles per hour.

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[slide
permalink=”there-will-be-no-wild-animals-5″
title=”There will be no wild animals.”
content=”‘Except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated.’

FALSE: Anyone living in New York City knows that rats and mice are here to stay.

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[slide
permalink=”telephones-around-the-world-6″
title=”Telephones around the world.”
content=”‘Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago.’

TRUE: We can call anywhere we want in the world, and with Skype and FaceTime, we can see who we call.”
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[slide
permalink=”how-children-will-be-taught-7″
title=”How children will be taught.”
content=”‘A university education will be free to every man and woman.’

FALSE: With the exception of certain countries, a college education still costs money.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4df10b57ccd1d5bc6b0f0000″
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[slide
permalink=”store-purchases-by-tube-8″
title=”Store purchases by tube.”
content=”‘Pneumatic tubes instead of store wagons will deliver packages and bundles.’

FALSE: We still pick up our own items or have them delivered by truck.

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[slide
permalink=”strawberries-as-large-as-apples-9″
title=”Strawberries as large as apples.”
content=”‘They will be eaten by our great-great-grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence.’

FALSE: There might actually be a strawberry the size of an apple somewhere, but it’s an exception to the rule. Strawberries are the same size they’ve always been.

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[slide
permalink=”few-drugs-will-be-swallowed-10″
title=”Few drugs will be swallowed.”
content=”‘Drugs needed by the lungs, for instance, will be applied directly to those organs through the skin and flesh.’

FALSE: There are plenty of topical medications, but swallowed pills are still the way most drugs are delivered to the body.

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[slide
permalink=”just-because-something-is-old-doesnt-mean-its-useless-11″
title=”Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
content=”Here are our suggestions to make your old computer useful again >
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