Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here is an amusing list of predictions for the year 2000 apparently written in 1900 for the Ladies Home Journal by John Elfreth Watkins.

Many seem almost too good (or precious) to be true, and I haven't confirmed it 100%, but there was definitely a John Elfreth Watkins who wrote speculative article for the Ladies Home Journal in the early 1900s, according to items at Ebay, and others commenting elsewhere have claimed to confirm it on microfilm. PBS's newshour speaks of it. And a New York Times columnist refers to it -- though perhaps that doesn't mean anything anymore given journalistic standards of "fake but accurate..."

Prediction #9: Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. 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. Even to-day photographs are being telegraphed over short distances. Photographs will reproduce all of Nature’s colors.

Prediction #16: There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary. Spelling by sound will have been adopted, first by the newspapers. English will be a language of condensed words expressing condensed ideas, and will be more extensively spoken than any other. Russian will rank second.
Have fun reading the rest!


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