People in the 1900s were hopeful about what future innovation might bring. They even predicted an incredible boom in technology that would transform human lives for the better.
Before we all walked around with glass bricks in our pockets that contained every piece of information that’s ever been available and allowed us to connect with anyone anywhere in the world in real time, what did people from more than 100 years ago think our future might look like? Here are seven predictions that people in 1900s believe our homes would look like today.
1. Moving House (1900s)
Jean-Marc Côté’s “House Rolling Through The Countryside” featured in a collection of cigarette cards drawn up around the turn of the 19th century, imagining what life would look like in the year 2000.
2. Glass House (1920s)
Utilizing a special new kind of glass designed to admit the ultraviolet “health rays” of the sun, the Vitaglass house would offer a year-round summer thanks to the addition of mercury arc lamps for gloomy days.
Unfortunately, even though the advert that inspired our creation was amazing, Vitaglass was a commercial failure so you’ll still have to hit the street if you want to soak up some UV rays.
3. Rolling House (1930s)
The September 1934 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics assured readers that spherical houses would become highly fashionable in the future. However, the only moving houses at the moment are trailer homes.
4. Lightweight House (1940s)
The January 1942 authors of “This Unfinished World” offered a vision uses super-light “aerogel” to create buildings that are earthquake-resistant and require less resources to build.
Today, the lightest material in the world is graphene aerogel, which can be 3D printed and boffins are hard at work figuring how to use the material to lighten the environmental toll of conventional construction techniques.
5. Space House (1950s)
The cover of the December 1953 Science Fiction Adventures magazine proposed a glass dome – but in outer space. Puerto Rican artist Alex Schomburg’s house design incorporated a double layer of glass: the dome protecting the property from the space atmosphere, and tinted wall-to-wall windows on the exterior of the house.
6. Dome House (1950s)
The cover story of Mechanix Illustrated’s June 1957 issue claimed:
“Current research in solar energy and architecture indicates that by 1989 you may be living in a house with an exterior made entirely of steel-hard glass.”
7. Underwater House (1960s)
General Motors created the Futurama II Pavilion to blow the minds of visitors to the New York World’s Fair in 1964. While the rest of the world was staring at the stars, GM noted that we still have whole oceans that remain unconquered.
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