What The Future Looked Like in 1900

Predicting the future has long been a practiced activity. It is, essentially, a declaration about the way things will occur, but without specific knowledge or experience. During the height of the Second Industrial Revolution, a leading German chocolate company – Hildebrand’s – saw the future as “sweet” and produced a set of cards that predicted life as they saw it for the year 2000. This is, of course, What the Future Looked Like in 1900.

Railway-Boats that could ferry across the ocean and easily transform into trains for land journeys.

Personal flying machines. Wings, which would propel us up, up and away. Also, personal airships, for those who required loftier transportation than the usual horse and carriage.

Mobile pavement which, adorned with benches, would enable “travelers” to move from one side of the road to the other without having to walk.

An x-ray machine which could, of course, see through walls. The intended purpose was to allow police to catch criminals in the act of crime (but we all know what it would have really been used for, had anyone ever gotten around to actually creating it).

The most famous predictor is likely Nostradamus who, in 1555, wrote his quatrains that are still being re-produced today. He supposedly predicted things like the French Revolution, the Great Fire of London, Napoleon, Hitler, the Atomic Bomb and the JFK assassination.

Rather than scientific prediction or financial forecasting, perhaps the most “popular” form of prediction is that of the supernatural and of science-fiction, much like Hildebrand’s wild projections for the future. Fortune-telling and prophesizing are also two very popular forms of predictions. For comparison, American’s spend roughly $16 million a year on chocolate (which would make Hildebrand’s very happy) as opposed to roughly $2 billion a year on psychic services.

Hildebrand’s actually predicted a few fairly accurate, “futuristic” items and events. To see all of their predictions of what the future would look like, please visit the All That is Interesting website as the link below.

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