It is always enjoyable to speculate about the future. Of course, our ancestors did the same. They made predictions about life in the twenty-first century. Some of the most interesting ones were about transportation.
In the earlier part of the twentieth
century, Popular Science Magazine often had covers that depicted commuters
buzzing around in tiny aircraft and landing on rooftops, or fanciful drawings
of vehicles that not only run on roads, but also float on water and take to the
air. Later years saw the prediction of a person strapping on a jetpack and
levitating into the air, allowing him or her to commute to work effortlessly.
(I always wondered how they would handle rain and snowstorms.) My father
collected every Popular Science Magazine since the 1920s, and I remember
spending many hours poring over those old editions when I was a child.
Some fanciful predictions
were actually built. For instance, how about the Beach Pneumatic Railway,
Of course, some of the predictions did come true and were manufactured in large quantities. One early 1940s advertisement from Milwaukee Machine Tools boldly predicted that air conditioning would become available for automobiles after the war. You can see this at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_events/exhibits/futuristics/auto/1.html.
The University of California at
My favorites include the
flying automobile at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_events/exhibits/futuristics/auto/
and the automobile-mounted paging system at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_events/exhibits/futuristics/auto/2.html.
Even these futurists never envisioned a miniature beeper on a person's belt.
You can look at the future predictions of the past at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_events/exhibits/futuristics/