Monday, September 10, 2007

French Prints Show the Year 2000 (1910)

[Update: The Paleo-Future blog has moved. You can read and comment on this entry here.]

Flying Firemen
The National Library of France (BnF) has an amazing collection of prints from 1910 which depict life in the year 2000. They are credited to Villemard.

There's speculation that they were included with "foodstuffs" of the era, much like the German postcards we looked at back in April.

Car ShoesThe BarberThe Avenue of the OperaA Curiosity
I wonder if the "curiosity" referred to is the horse as an uncommon means of transportation, or the extinction of all animals as referenced in the 1900 Ladies' Home Journal article we looked at a while back.The Electric Train From Paris to BeijingA RescueSpeak to the Caretaker
This image clearly takes its inspiration from another French futurist, Albert Robida, and his book The Twentieth Century.Sentinel Advanced in the HelicopterCyclist ScoutsPhonographic MessageOne For the RoadLady In Her BathroomHeating With RadiumHearing The NewspaperCorrespondence CinemaCars of WarBuilding SiteAt SchoolA Festival of FlowersA Chemical Dinner
It's amazing how long the idea of synthetic food has been with us. Before starting this blog I had assumed that the idea started with the Jetsons.Airship On The Long CourseThe TailorFlying Police

See also:
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Evening Fashions of the Year 1952 (1883)
The Air Ship: A Musical Farce Comedy (1898)
Going to the Opera in the Year 2000 (1882)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
No One Will Walk - All Will Have Wheels (Brown County Democrat, 1900)
The Next Hundred Years (Milwaukee Herold und Seebote, 1901)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Flying Machines (circa 1885)

71 comments:

Kit O'Connell said...

Correspondance cinema is a bit like a webcam or a video blog.

The barber reminds me of this comic.

Salo said...

It's amazing how close some of those are to what actually happened.
All expect the flying men and the brain-transfer thingy have come out in one way or another.

Even the food pills; just think of vitamins and calcium-pills and... the idea is that we don't have to eat food that we don't like to eat, making eating more into choice instead of necessity.

73man said...

I love the At School one because that is pretty much what education in most capitalist economies have been trying to achieve ever since. Pack Em In Boys!

Amio Cajander said...

¡ Heating with Radium at home !

Ok ok have to admit that it is no far away from what we are doing nowadays.

Heating with electicity made heating with radium

Natalie said...

These prints are amazing and some are freakishly accurate! I've reflected on a few of them over at my blog - and I love your content... so original! You're definitely being added to my already chock-a-block google reader :)

Anonymous said...

Heating with radium..LOL.. Also the flying policeman, but still using his club as a weapon was good...

Dr. Momentum said...

Wow - everybody is so thin.

Anne said...

I love the construction site! I'm in architecture and it's not like that at all. Thank goodness, since having a building depend on one person would probably not be a very successful one. Thanks for posting these!

Jason R. Hunter said...

The Cyclist Scouts made the theme song to "CHIPS" pop in my head. :) But also made me think of cops on Segways...

Allie, Dearest said...

love the pilot stopping for a drink in mid-air and the heating with radium.

kind of scary, but very cool.

Anonymous said...
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robotriot said...

anne: Well, it's kind of true as well, since there are construction robots. I remember watching a documentary on TV about a robot that was able to build entire skyscraper floors.

Nice predictions anyway, a lot of them are pretty accurate. I always find it funny though how they think ahead a 100 years when it comes to technology, yet they can't imagine thinking outside the box when it comes to things like design, fashion or architecture. The most unusual item design-wise is the Paris-Bejing train imo.

Anonymous said...

I want some car shoes!

Sed Emihcra said...

Indeed, some of these have become a reality somehow. Car shoes are Wheelies and roller skates, perhaps even Segways, electric train to Beijing, although not so, there's one under the English channel which to me is far more impressive.

Most interesting is phonographic message and Hearing the Newspaper. The internet is that and more.

The most annoying thing though is that a lot of people for some reason believed by the year 2000 people would have personal flying machines. That won't happen for a long while still.

Jonny Mnemonic said...

One thing that I always find interesting in these postcards that predict the future: They never seem to predict any changes in fashion. It's always the same things that people were wearing when the postcards were made. Yet even back then, I'm sure that fashions changed regularly.

Anonymous said...

"One for the road"

apparently they thought drinking wine and flying aircraft is a futuristic possibility

hilarious

Anonymous said...

i found everything fine but
what PISSES me off is that...

they have machines acting on there own like they have some superior artificial intelligence.

this is not the case for example the picture of getting a hair cut or constructing a building. i guess the fact that they were right on some makes up for it. after all there is no way the could have known.

Anonymous said...

I like that where ever there are flying people - there are flying police :)

--
Max ... Out!
http://www.cmyos.com free online operating system.

Anonymous said...

Why I'd say that personal flying vehicles won't happen 'til at least 2100!

Fred said...

I think it's a marvelous piece of history. It's interesting to see his conception of a future that lacks one of the greatest breakthroughs in human history: electronics. Everything is mechanical, the planes still have wings made of coton...amazing

Acronyms Fan said...

I like the way they connected their lifestyle with future.

TheMattstard said...

People will have flying cars and heat their houses with radium but 'chinamen' will still be stereotypical and everyone will dress in Victorian outfits.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is mentioning about how the fashion stays the same. How about blade runner? And all our futuristic movies where everyone is wearing jumpsuits? And punk haircuts?
The person did try, note the woman talking to the custodian shows her legs! This is 1910, mind you.

Anonymous said...

The curiosity of the horse is a comment on its (accurately) predicted estrangement from every-day transportation as a direct result of the automobile.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint, Salo, but yes, even the items about flying men have come to pass. Only here in the states, we call the flying firemen 'Smoke jumpers'. They use things called parachutes.
And the flying policemen are just cops in choppers. Ever seen one of those?
The brain-transfer? Ever hear of the Internet? Ever learn a foreign language at school and use the language lab setup with the headphones?
Oh, and heating with radium? Well, ok it is radioactive material, even if it isn't radium...
Judy

Anonymous said...

These are ridiculous. They are cartoonish at best. They only take what they know exist at the time and just add to it. The dress, haircuts, decor still is still suppose to look in 2000 as it did in 1910.

Ophelia Chong said...

i love these. i remember watching films in grade school about the future. now that i am here in my future, where is my damn jet pack?

Gretchen said...

I love seeing what people think the future will be like. Some are way out there - remember Space 1999?

Then there are those true visionaries like Gene Roddenberry. It's truly amazing what he got right. Was he a time traveller or just a really good guesser?

Scott said...

I'm sure that the predictions we have today for the next hundred years will be perceived just as "campy" as these are to us today. Let us not forget that Jules Verne who died in 1905, predicted many things in our century accurately such as air conditioning, the submarine, the automobile, and a trip to the moon where three astronauts are launched from Florida and return via a water landing. I wonder how many of there French prints are inspired by Mr. Verne rather than an original concept. It is also interesting that many of these predictions are identical to predictions that we make for the year 2100!

Denver Photographer said...

Interesting that such a high fashion culture envisioned no change in fashion over 100 years.

The Vicar of VHS said...

I love the fact that the "Car Shoes" picture shows a dude in the background eating concrete.

Great stuff.

Hey, wrt the "heating with radium" thing everyone's getting a chuckle out of, wasn't there a big craze for a while using radium in everything, even cocktail drinks? It seems I remember reading a horrifying article somewhere about folks whose jaws were eaten up with cancer because of the fad.

Or did I dream it?

Anonymous said...

I love these pictures! Hey, I wouldn't mind at all if we went back to the womens fashions from the 1900's. I still have to put up with bell bottoms and it's the 21st century for crying out loud!!!

David Greiman said...

No video games, iPod, or pet rock! This artist way off...

RaleighRob said...

Gretchen-- good point on Roddenberry. The thing he did that was really smart though, was to focus his future not in the next century, but 300-400 years in the future. That way, by then, none of us would still be alive to see if he was right or not.

brem said...

don't drink and fly!

6FM said...

Came in through this post -- which is fascinating by he way -- and fell in love with your blog! Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Those flying firemen, the barber and all those flying men aren't a bad idea! Whoah.. they weren't all stupid, i guess! *lol*

valugi said...

Only the clothes design will never change in their visions! We have invented everything but we'll keep those ugly clothes!

Alexander said...

My favorite is the 'Heating With Radium' one. Lol. Nothing beats that winter chill better than Radium induced death!
The other one that really captured my attention was the 'Correspondence Cinema', as it is pretty cool we have that today in the form of video-link conversations, which are only a 1-2 second lag away from being in real-time.

Anonymous said...

It seems the pics shows the older years of 1910!!

Robert Carnegie said...

You've been "slash-dotted" on the Yahoo! e-mail group for Studio Foglio's "Girl Genius" webcomic! (Specialist subject: mad scientists and their handiwork.)

If these pictures are grocery giveaways then almost certainly they are for amusement and not serious futurology. I suppose we must consider that the visible future then included European imperial government of most of the world and continuing technological advance, and international tension... and we know what happened. "6/28 changed everything."

I agree: the horse in 1910 was still the, um, workhorse of transport, away from railways, you'd see horses every day, there were very few motor vehicles. Just as in our 2007 there are very few personal flying machines... but they exist, it's just that -you- don't own one. John Travolta has a Boeing 707 and a Gulfstream.

Flying firemen, thermal currents... maybe :-) As for radium -and- the "chemical dinner", I suppose the small quantities involved (tiny wineglasses and plates) are the point.

One thing... I don't see robots, that someone complained of; all of these machines have operators, or programmers - I don't think you work the bath machinery while you're in it. Now who invented the robot... Isaac Asimov pointed to Greek myth and "Frankenstein", there were children's clockwork toys, L. Frank Baum's Tiktok of Oz... he still had to be wound, as far as I recall.

Anonymous said...

The "cars of war" remind me somehow of mad max.

R2K said...

I love this stuff, and I have to agree the heating with radium was the best.

saf said...

my boyfriend has a lovely old print with some of these pitures on it (it must be a series of images because his has about 6 of these). he picked it up from a carboot sale.

Anonymous said...

Hey, heating with radium is actual. Think of nuclear power plants...

Nice pics anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

Je ne vois pas la différence avec la France d'aujourd'hui...

Katrina said...

As a teacher, I would love posters of these prints. I'd have my kids write short stories based off of them. Does anyone know if they can be purchased poster-sized and, if so, where?

brappy said...

The "stereotypical 'chinaman'" in the Paris-Beijing train is wearing a queue, which all Chinese were required to wear to show allegiance to the Manchu emperors, whose reign ended in 1911. As this was just before that time, showing them in this light isn't stereotypical, but reflects China at that moment without looking into the political future, which these prints clearly were not designed to do.

Anonymous said...

Fake

this is photoshopped

Rosie said...

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daydream11 said...

Well, the fashion bit I can understand: for most of the second millinnium, fashion stayed virtually the same. In their defense, they really didn't expect fashion to turn on its head like it did.

On another note, I love the phonographic communicator. That is pretty much dead-on, right?

Anonymous said...

Correspondance cinema is a bit like a webcam or a video blog.

luna said...

techlogy be best in life

Anonymous said...

Great post. I love the At School one because that is pretty much what education in most capitalist economies have been trying to achieve ever since.........

Anonymous said...

Correspondance cinema is a bit like a webcam or a video blog.

Anonymous said...

The "cars of war" remind me somehow of mad max.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sadly, just another 'supposedly old print/drawing collection'... These were done recently and made to look like they were artistic visions of the future from 1910. Far to cliche. The only thing they are missing is a 'supposed small white handheld music playing device...with white earphones, by coincidence..'. Yawn.

joshyMinor said...

Wow, that is quite impressive is it not?

RT
www.anonweb.pro.tc

Free Xbox 360 Games said...

Great article. This was interesting to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the winged cars remind me of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Somebody saw these cards before.

Anonymous said...

Still ridiculous after all of these decades. Pure science-fiction that will never come to fruition.

Werner said...

Funny how the winged cars remind me of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Somebody saw these cards before..

Ta4ka said...

This comment on digg is precislless

Question:
It's 2009. Where are my car shoes?

Answer:

http://www.random-good-stuff.com/2007/03/15/motorized-rollerblades/

Axou said...

Really amazing!

Fazer said...

That's obvious. People always make predictions based on quantity, not quality. No one could predict the invention of a computer and the internet.

Alex - Tucson Web Design said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing these are really quite charming. Its kind of funny to see they're not that far off...

Kathleen said...

I loved seeing these!

motorcycle helmet said...

I love these very very nice thanks.

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