These predictions for the future from 1900 are eerily accurate

Illustration for article titled These predictions for the future from 1900 are eerily accurate

Is predicting the future difficult? Obviously. But that shouldn't keep any of us from giving it our best shot.

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In the year 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. decided to give clairvoyance a go by asking "the wisest and most careful" thinkers from "the greatest institutions of science and learning" what they thought might transpire over the course of the 20th century. And while Watkins doesn't mention who these "wise and careful" minds are, it's downright impressive how many of these predictions have actually come to pass in the 100 years (well, 112, now) since this column was written. It almost makes you wonder if the days of C, X, and Q being part of the English alphabet are numbered. (Click the image below to embiggen, or click here to see a transcription.)

[Via Letters of Note]
Hat tip to Courtney!

Illustration for article titled These predictions for the future from 1900 are eerily accurate

DISCUSSION

iraenicole
Nicole

"A university education will be free to every man and woman ... 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."

Hah, silly socialist. Hasn't he heard of bootstraps?