predictions made in 1900 about the year 2000

: There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America and
its possessions by the lapse of another century. Nicaragua will ask for
admission to our Union after the completion of the great canal. Mexico will be
next. Europe, seeking more territory to the south of us, will cause many of the
South and Central American republics to be voted into the Union by their own

: The American will be taller by from one to two inches. His increase of
stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine,
sanitation, food and athletics. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five
as at present – for he will reside in the suburbs. The city house will
practically be no more. Building in blocks will be illegal. The trip from
suburban home to office will require a few minutes only. A penny will pay the

: Gymnastics will begin in the nursery, where toys and games will be designed
to strengthen the muscles. Exercise will be compulsory in the schools. Every
school, college and community will have a complete gymnasium. All cities will
have public gymnasiums. A man or woman unable to walk ten miles at a stretch
will be regarded as a weakling.

:  There Will Be No Street Cars in Our Large Cities. All
hurry traffic will be below or high above ground when brought within city
limits. In most cities it will be confined to broad subways or tunnels,
well lighted and well ventilated, or to high trestles with “moving-sidewalk”
stairways leading to the top. These underground or overhead streets will
teem with capacious automobile passenger coaches and freight with cushioned
wheels. Subways or trestles will be reserved for express trains.  Cities, therefore, will be free from all noises.

:  Trains will run two miles a minute, normally; express trains
one hundred and fifty miles an hour. To go from New York to San Francisco
will take a day and a night by fast express.  There will be cigar-shaped
electric locomotives hauling long trains of cars. Cars will, like houses,
be artificially cooled. Along the railroads there will be no smoke, no
cinders, because coal will neither be carried nor burned. There will be no
stops for water. Passengers will travel through hot or dusty country
regions with windows down.

:  Automobiles
will be cheaper than horses are today. Farmers will own automobile hay-wagons,
automobile truck-wagons, plows, harrows and hay-rakes. A one-pound motor in one
of these vehicles will do the work of a pair of horses or more. Children will
ride in automobile sleighs in winter. Automobiles will have been substituted for
every horse vehicle now known. There will be, as already exist today, automobile
hearses, automobile police patrols, automobile ambulances, automobile street
sweepers. The horse in harness will be as scarce, if, indeed, not even scarcer,
then as the yoked ox is today.

:  There
will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and
water vessels for passenger or freight traffic. They will be maintained as
deadly war-vessels by all military nations. Some will transport men and goods.
Others will be used by scientists making observations at great heights above the

:  Aerial
War-Ships and Forts on Wheels. Giant guns will shoot twenty-five miles or more,
and will hurl anywhere within such a radius shells exploding and destroying
whole cities. Such guns will be armed by aid of compasses when used on land or
sea, and telescopes when directed from great heights. Fleets of air-ships,
hiding themselves with dense, smoky mists, thrown off by themselves as they
move, will float over cities, fortifications, camps or fleets. They will
surprise foes below by hurling upon them deadly thunderbolts. These aerial
war-ships will necessitate bomb-proof forts, protected by great steel plates
over their tops as well as at their sides. Huge forts on wheels will dash across
open spaces at the speed of express trains of to-day. They will make what are
now known as cavalry charges. Great automobile plows will dig deep entrenchments
as fast as soldiers can occupy them. Rifles will use silent cartridges.
Submarine boats submerged for days will be capable of wiping a whole navy off
the face of the deep. Balloons and flying machines will carry telescopes of
one-hundred-mile vision with camera attachments, photographing an enemy within
that radius. These photographs as distinct and large as if taken from across the
street, will be lowered to the commanding officer in charge of troops below.

:  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.

:  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.

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.

:  Peas as Large as Beets.  Peas and beans will be as large as
beets are to-day.  Sugar cane will produce twice as much sugar as the sugar
beet now does.  Cane will once more be the chief source of our sugar
supply.  The milkweed will have been developed into a rubber plant.

Cheap native rubber will be harvested by machinery all over this country.
Plants will be made proof against disease microbes just as readily as man is
to-day against smallpox.  The soil will be kept enriched by plants which
take their nutrition from the air and give fertility to the earth.

:  Strawberries as Large as Apples will be eaten by our
great-great-grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence.
Raspberries and blackberries will be as large.  One will suffice for the
fruit course of each person.  Strawberries and cranberries will be grown
upon tall bushes.  Cranberries, gooseberries and currants will be as large
as oranges.  One cantaloupe will supply an entire family.  Melons,
cherries, grapes, plums, apples, pears, peaches and all berries will be
seedless.  Figs will be cultivated over the entire United States.

:  Black, Blue and Green Roses.  Roses will be as large as
cabbage heads.  Violets will grow to the size of orchids.  A pansy
will be as large in diameter as a sunflower.  A century ago the pansy
measured but half an inch across its face.  There will be black, blue and
green roses.  It will be possible to grow any flower in any color and to
transfer the perfume of a scented flower to another which is odorless.

Then may the pansy be given the perfume of the violet.

:  No Foods will be Exposed.  Storekeepers who expose food to
air breathed out by patrons or to the atmosphere of the busy streets will be
arrested with those who sell stale or adulterated produce.  Liquid-air
refrigerators will keep great quantities of food fresh for long intervals.

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.


: How Children will be Taught. A
university education will be free to every man and woman. Several great national
universities will have been established. Children will study a simple English
grammar adapted to simplified English, and not copied after the Latin. Time will
be saved by grouping like studies. Poor students will be given free board, free
clothing and free books if ambitious and actually unable to meet their school
and college expenses. Medical inspectors regularly visiting the public schools
will furnish poor children free eyeglasses, free dentistry and free medical
attention of every kind. The very poor will, when necessary, get free rides to
and from school and free lunches between sessions. In vacation time poor
children will be taken on trips to various parts of the world. Etiquette and
housekeeping will be important studies in the public schools.


: Telephones Around the World.
Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the
middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her
boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we
now talk from New York to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect
with any circuit in their locality without the intervention of a “hello girl”.


:  Grand Opera will be telephoned to
private homes, and will sound as harmonious as though enjoyed from a theatre
box. Automatic instruments reproducing original airs exactly will bring the best
music to the families of the untalented. Great musicians gathered in one
enclosure in New York will, by manipulating electric keys, produce at the same
time music from instruments arranged in theatres or halls in San Francisco or
New Orleans, for instance. Thus will great bands and orchestras give
long-distance concerts. In great cities there will be public opera-houses whose
singers and musicians are paid from funds endowed by philanthropists and by the
government. The piano will be capable of changing its tone from cheerful to sad.
Many devises will add to the emotional effect of music.


#20: Coal will not be used for heating or cooking. It will be
scarce, but not entirely exhausted. The earth’s hard coal will last until the
year 2050 or 2100; its soft-coal mines until 2200 or 2300. Meanwhile both kinds
of coal will have become more and more expensive. Man will have found
electricity manufactured by waterpower to be much cheaper. Every river or creek
with any suitable fall will be equipped with water-motors, turning dynamos,
making electricity. Along the seacoast will be numerous reservoirs continually
filled by waves and tides washing in. Out of these the water will be constantly
falling over revolving wheels. All of our restless waters, fresh and salt, will
thus be harnessed to do the work which Niagara is doing today: making
electricity for heat, light and fuel.


#21: Hot and Cold Air from Spigots. Hot or cold air will be
turned on from spigots to regulate the temperature of a house as we now turn on
hot or cold water from spigots to regulate the temperature of the bath. Central
plants will supply this cool air and heat to city houses in the same way as now
our gas or electricity is furnished. Rising early to build the furnace fire will
be a task of the olden times. Homes will have no chimneys, because no smoke will
be created within their walls.


#22: Store Purchases by Tube. Pneumatic tubes, instead of
store wagons, will deliver packages and bundles. These tubes will collect,
deliver and transport mail over certain distances, perhaps for hundreds of
miles. They will at first connect with the private houses of the wealthy; then
with all homes. Great business establishments will extend them to stations,
similar to our branch post-offices of today, whence fast automobile vehicles
will distribute purchases from house to house.


#23: Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments
similar to our bakeries of today. They will purchase materials in tremendous
wholesale quantities and sell the cooked foods at a price much lower than the
cost of individual cooking. Food will be served hot or cold to private houses in
pneumatic tubes or automobile wagons. The meal being over, the dishes used will
be packed and returned to the cooking establishments where they will be washed.
Such wholesale cookery will be done in electric laboratories rather than in
kitchens. These laboratories will be equipped with electric stoves, and all
sorts of electric devices, such as coffee-grinders, egg-beaters, stirrers,
shakers, parers, meat-choppers, meat-saws, potato-mashers, lemon-squeezers,
dish-washers, dish-dryers and the like. All such utensils will be washed in
chemicals fatal to disease microbes. Having one’s own cook and purchasing one’s
own food will be an extravagance.


#24: Vegetables Grown by Electricity. Winter will be turned
into summer and night into day by the farmer. In cold weather he will place
heat-conducting electric wires under the soil of his garden and thus warm his
growing plants. He will also grow large gardens under glass. At night his
vegetables will be bathed in powerful electric light, serving, like sunlight, to
hasten their growth. Electric currents applied to the soil will make valuable
plants grow larger and faster, and will kill troublesome weeds. Rays of colored
light will hasten the growth of many plants. Electricity applied to garden seeds
will make them sprout and develop unusually early.


#25: Oranges will grow in Philadelphia. Fast-flying
refrigerators on land and sea will bring delicious fruits from the tropics and
southern temperate zone within a few days. The farmers of South America, South
Africa, Australia and the South Sea Islands, whose seasons are directly opposite
to ours, will thus supply us in winter with fresh summer foods, which cannot be
grown here. Scientist will have discovered how to raise here many fruits now
confined to much hotter or colder climates. Delicious oranges will be grown in
the suburbs of Philadelphia. Cantaloupes and other summer fruits will be of such
a hardy nature that they can be stored through the winter as potatoes are now.


#26: Strawberries as large as apples will be eaten by our
great great grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence.
Raspberries and blackberries will be as large. One will suffice for the fruit
course of each person. Strawberries and cranberries will be grown upon tall
bushes. Cranberries, gooseberries and currants will be as large as oranges. One
cantaloupe will supply an entire family. Melons, cherries, grapes, plums,
apples, pears, peaches and all berries will be seedless. Figs will be cultivated
over the entire United States.


#27: Few drugs will be swallowed or taken into the stomach
unless needed for the direct treatment of that organ itself. Drugs needed by the
lungs, for instance, will be applied directly to those organs through the skin
and flesh. They will be carried with the electric current applied without pain
to the outside skin of the body. Microscopes will lay bare the vital organs,
through the living flesh, of men and animals. The living body will to all
medical purposes be transparent. Not only will it be possible for a physician to
actually see a living, throbbing heart inside the chest, but he will be able to
magnify and photograph any part of it. This work will be done with rays of
invisible light.


#28: There will be no wild animals except in menageries. Rats
and mice will have been exterminated. The horse will have become practically
extinct. A few of high breed will be kept by the rich for racing, hunting and
exercise. The automobile will have driven out the horse. Cattle and sheep will
have no horns. They will be unable to run faster than the fattened hog of today.
A century ago the wild hog could outrun a horse. Food animals will be bred to
expend practically all of their life energy in producing meat, milk, wool and
other by-products. Horns, bones, muscles and lungs will have been neglected.


#29: To England in Two Days. Fast electric ships, crossing the
ocean at more than a mile a minute, will go from New York to Liverpool in two
days. The bodies of these ships will be built above the waves. They will be
supported upon runners, somewhat like those of the sleigh. These runners will be
very buoyant. Upon their under sides will be apertures expelling jets of air. In
this way a film of air will be kept between them and the water’s surface. This
film, together with the small surface of the runners, will reduce friction
against the waves to the smallest possible degree. Propellers turned by
electricity will screw themselves through both the water beneath and the air
above. Ships with cabins artificially cooled will be entirely fireproof. In
storm they will dive below the water and there await fair weather.

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