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An Alternate Timeline from 1900

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  • An Alternate Timeline from 1900

    From yorktownhistory.org an article originally printed in 1900 entitled “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years”. by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr.

    Mr. Watkins wrote: “These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America.”
    See the 29 predictions made http://www.yorktownhistory.org/homep...redictions.htm

    Obviously science didn't go the way expected but how many of the predictions could have come true ?
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

  • #2
    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 #10: Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place. Thus the guns of a distant battle will be heard to boom when seen to blaze, and thus the lips of a remote actor or singer will be heard to utter words or music when seen to move.
    Good call!

    Prediction #11: No Mosquitoes nor Flies. Insect screens will be unnecessary. Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been practically exterminated. Boards of health will have destroyed all mosquito haunts and breeding-grounds, drained all stagnant pools, filled in all swamp-lands, and chemically treated all still-water streams. The extermination of the horse and its stable will reduce the house-fly.
    No way to predict an irrational entity like the EPA, I guess...

    Lots of fanciful stuff, but they were pretty optimistic back then.
    Unlike today.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

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    • #3
      Too optimistic? Computer as an invention triumphs most of what they predicted.
      Wisdom is personal

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      • #4
        Actually, on the whole the are more right than wrong. I wonder how accurate we might be about 100 years from now...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Karri View Post
          Too optimistic?
          Its the optimism itself that makes the whole thing so different from what we have today.
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
            Its the optimism itself that makes the whole thing so different from what we have today.
            That's because the Left wasn't running things or even having much of a say in American politics and society at the time. Progressivism is a disease like cancer that eats away at the very bones of society and brings it to ruin.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              That's because the Left wasn't running things or even having much of a say in American politics and society at the time. Progressivism is a disease like cancer that eats away at the very bones of society and brings it to ruin.
              Honestly, angry conservatives, with propertarianism mixed in, on the internet who swing their metaphoric swords at invisible strawmen "liberals" (They're social democrats.) are the true disease. Well, in the internet. Their real-life counterparts (The Republicans) and the coalition of social democrats/centrists are both diseases on the nation of America, along with other less political vices. Oh, the "Libertarians" too. (I prefer to call them "Propertarians" because they seem to care more about property than liberty, that and libertarian is a word made by anarchist socialists to cover their butts from the authoritarian governments at the time.)

              Aside from that sad attempt to derail the thread, I think that many of these predictions are shockingly close to what happened in our timeline. Although, a few of them were wrong. Still, it was fun to compare what the people of 1900 predicted to what our world is like now.

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