What did people from 100 years ago Predict for 2021?
|Prediction 2021 from people in 1921. Photo: towardsdatascience|
A century ago, the world had just gone through the first World War; children around the world were starving; the 1918 influenza pandemic had hit; there was about to be a new president sworn in; and James Coyle, a Catholic priest in Birmingham, Alabama, was shot and killed by Klan member named E.R. Stephenson because the priest was presiding over the wedding of Stephenson’s daughter, Ruth, and Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican man who was working for her father.
A pandemic, an election, and social injustices that are appalling and unbelievable. The historical similarities between the world in 1921 and now are extraordinary, Poynter reported.
Mastering the heat
Literally, a wizard predicted this for 2021. An electrical engineer also called “The Wizard of Schenectady”, Charles Steinmetz, had been talking about how people in 2021 would successfully master temperature.
An article that he had written at the time was widely circulating in which he talked of a ‘revolution’ in home environments.
He said that the heating would be done electrically and how he could set the temperature as per his wishes. He said how he could set the thermostat at 70 degrees in his home and it would stay exactly at that.
“This temperature will be maintained uniformly regardless of the weather outside,” he said. “This will also hold true on the warm day when the temperature outside maybe 90 or 100 degrees. The same electrical apparatus will cool the air. And what’s more, it will keep the humidity normal at all times.”, according to Informance.
Entertainment At Home
Steinmetz was ready to Netflix and chill:
Steinmetz was all set to quit the “congested, poorly ventilated hall” to have his fill of some musical concert. He talked about how the concert could be brought to our homes by pushing a plug into the base receptacle as we do for a vacuum cleaner.
He talked on about the modes of these musical concerts brought home: “Music will be supplied by a central station and distributed to subscribers by wire, just as we get our telephone service today. Perhaps this may be by wireless, the home is equipped with a radio-receiving apparatus. With this arrangement improved, we may hear grand opera stars as they sing in European capitals while sitting in our libraries at home.”, Entrepreneur noted.
Electricity drives our bikes
Steinmetz saw the future of electric transportation, but we’re still catching up. Imagine here Lime Tesla cars and scooters … and a storage solution that we haven’t fully embraced yet.
"The most important purpose of the cellar today is a satisfactory place for the stove, coal supply, and ashes. Household electricity eliminates these two purposes as well as many other smaller purposes. So what use can we get from this space?"
He talks about the changes in transportation systems that will come with electrical advancements. “With the coming electrical improvements, our transportation system will change. More electric cars and electric bicycles and tricycles are being developed. Because of their simplicity and low price, they will be available to almost everyone. They are kept in our cellars" according to Europeworldnews.
Wanna hear an audiobook?
Steinmetz wasn’t the only one in 1921 making predictions about 2021. Moses Folsom wrote a column for Miami News in 1921 – “One Hundred Years From Now”.
In this famous column, he had described what we today call audiobooks. Here is an excerpt from his column:
“By 2021 the phonographic principle may have become practically infallible and the best books will be reproduced in plates for use in many different styles of speaking machines.”
“The exact tones of the elocutionist in speaking the words of the dramatist, poet, teacher, philosopher, and novelist will be imitated in the library or parlor of every home. The exact tones of the sweet singer will also be faithfully reproduced on records to last long after the voice of the singer is silent in the sleep that knows no waking.”
Oceans Are No Obstacle!
In Fall River, Massachusetts, the local newspaper invited schoolchildren to write in with their predictions. Some predicted police officers flying in the skies, or potatoes growing in the streets. But the best entry, by 14-year-old Thomas Gooley, imagined a person from 1921 waking up in 2021, being alarmed to find massive airplanes ahead and no doors on buildings (because they’re all now on the roof), and then trying to escape to Europe. He wrote:
“On reaching the wharf we would ask for a ticket for a first-class cabin passage on the next boat. The ticket seller would laugh at us and say, ‘You do not go over the Atlantic anymore, old man, but under it in a tunnel.’”
“Looking stupidly about us we might ask, ‘Well what year is this anyhow?’ And somebody might answer: ‘The year of 2021.', Entrepreneur wrote.
Predictions about 2021
This doesn’t end yet. The column by Folsom also predicted with startling accuracy everyday life in 2021.
With stunning accuracy, he predicted the existence of “moving sidewalks and elevators” in densely populated cities. Probably referring to the hyperloop, he talked about tubes that might connect cities at a dazzling speed.
And what’s more, he also talks of the uses of solar energy and advancements in digital media such as photographs and movies. He says, “Colored photography will be a fact and vast improvements made in movie pictures. The tides may be used for power as well as the rays of the sun for heat and power.”
He further adds, “Utensils and dwellings will be manufactured largely of pulps and types of cement so as to utilize vegetation and stone in every stage of the decade, ordinary waste or unfitness.”, Infomance cited.
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