Visions of the Future: Popular Science, 1925

I came across a great image from the August 1925 issue of Popular Science yesterday: it is a full page illustration of “How You May Live and Travel in the City of 1950.” I am sharing it because it highlights the perils of imagining a future…a peril to which I am rather prone.

First, the image:

(Please check out the Popular Science archive. It dates back to the late 1800s and is outstanding. The folks at PopSci deserve some huge credit for putting it together and making it accessible.)

While I love that pedestrians dominate the open air spaces of the city (a sentiment that would no doubt resonate with Richard Florida), I was struck by the urban “aircraft landing fields” and the subterranean roadways. While one can point to helipads and The Big Dig modern incarnations of this vision, it now seems quaint. What visions of life in 2040 are now being espoused that the reader of 2101 will find equally quaint?

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