New York Times Predictions for 2009, from 1909


Everyone is having fun looking at predictions made a year ago, but what about a hundred years ago? "Litterateur" Jules Bois made some interesting ones, some which are dead on and some hilariously wrong. Take his ideal of feminine beauty:

Physical weakness, extreme delicacy of physiognomy, and acquiescence in a mere secondary position in the social organization will have given place to a type in which beauty and muscular development will be combined.

Ha! Blew that one.


Hardly any one will remain in the cities at night. They will be places of business only. People of every class will reside in the country or in garden towns at considerable distances from the populous centres.

Got that one mostly right.

Pneumatic railways and flying cars and many other means of quick transit will be so developed that the question of time will enter but little into one's choice of a home. Transportation will be immensely cheaper than it is at present.

There was a phrase in the last development boom-"drive until you can afford it"- time entered into the choice of one's home, as people traded commute time for house and lot size. Because transportation really was cheap. And at sixty miles an hour, by 1909 standards, the cars really were flying.

I think Monsieur Bois pretty much nailed it.

Found at Paleo-future

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