February 21, 2012
It’s quite easy for people to talk cynically of the various ways in which technology is supposedly undermining culture and society. (And those complaints are obviously nothing new.) In particular, people have — rightly or wrongly — been afraid of “information overload” for ages.
But I’m an Internet apologist. The ability of average people to obtain information instantaneously is just phenomenal. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I was a kid, growing up in the late 1980s and early 90s, I had no idea what the Internet was. But the futurism books I’d check out at the library would hint at the massive information infrastructure that was to come. One such book, World of Tomorrow: School, Work and Play by Neil Ardley had a two-page spread about the electronic library of the future. This 1981 book explained everything from what homework might be done in the future to how computer criminals might make off with all your data.
The picture above shows medical experts inputting data into a large centralized electronic library. The idea that an electronic library would be so organized in one physical space might be the most jarring aspect to these types of futures, which were imagined before our modern web. The 1993 AT&T concept video “Connections” talked about electronic education in a similar way, with students linking to an “education center” in Washington, D.C.
Text from the World of Tomorrow book appears below. It may seem so quaint to modern readers, but it’s fantastic to read about how “this service at your fingertips is like having a huge brand-new encyclopedia in your home at all times.”
Imagine you are living in the future, and are doing a project on Halley’s comet. It’s quite some time since it last appeared in 1986, and you want to find out when it will again be seen from Earth. You also want to know the results of a space mission to the comet, and find out what the comet is made of.
In the days when the comet last appeared, you would have to look up Halley’s comet in an encyclopedia or a book on astronomy. If you didn’t possess these books, you would have gone to the library to get the information. And to find out about the space mission, you might have had to get in touch with NASA. Now, finding out anything is much easier — thanks to the computer.
People still collect books as valuable antiques or for a hobby, but you get virtually all the information you need from the viewscreen of your home computer system. The computer is linked to a library — not a library of books but an electronic library where information on every subject is stored in computer memory banks. You might simply ask the computer to display you the range of information on Halley’s comet. It contacts the library, and up comes a list of articles to read and video programs. You select those you want at a level you understand — and sit back.
Having this service at your fingertips is like having a huge brand-new encyclopedia in your homes at all times. The computer can tell you anything you want to know, and the information is always the very latest available. There need be only one central library to which computers in homes, offices, schools and colleges are connected. At the library experts are constantly busy, feeding in the very latest information as they receive it. In theory one huge electronic library could serve the whole world!
December 23, 2011
When I was a kid I would’ve given just about anything to see a hoverboard under the family Christmas tree. Back to the Future II came out in 1989 (when I was six years old) and the movie promised kids like me a world of hoverboards and ubiquitous product placement by the year 2015. I even occasionally get emails from people who ask if hoverboards are real. These people vaguely remember seeing a short promotional documentary when they were kids about the making of BTTF2, which included a joke about hoverboards from director Robert Zemeckis. With a smirk that was obviously too subtle for the kiddies, Zemeckis claimed that hoverboards were real, but that child safety groups wouldn’t let them be released into stores. I’ve broken many a dear reader’s heart by sending out that link.
Alas, hoverboards still aren’t real (at least not in the way that BTTF2 envisioned them) and I never saw one under our Christmas tree. But the latter half of the 20th century still saw plenty of predictions for the Christmas celebrations of the future — everything from what kind of technologically advanced presents would be under the tree, to how visions of Santa Claus may evolve.
The 1981 book Tomorrow’s Home by Neil Ardley includes a two page spread about the Christmas presents and celebrations of the future. If we ignore the robot arm serving Christmas treats, Ardley pretty accurately describes the rise of user-generated media, explaining the ways in which the household computer will allow people to manipulate their video and musical creations:
Christmas in the future is an exciting occasion. Here the children have been given a home music and video system that links into the home computer. They are eagerly trying it out. The eldest boy is using the video camera to record pictures of the family, which are showing on the computer viewscreen. However, someone else is playing with the computer controls and changing the images for fun. At the same time, another child is working at the music synthesizer, creating some music to go with the crazy pictures.
But what of my parents’ generation, the Baby Boomers? What were they told as children about the Christmases to come? Below we have a sampling of predictions from the 1960s and 70s about what the Christmas festivities of the future would look like. Some of these predictions were made by kids themselves — people who are now in their 50s and 60s.
The November 28, 1967 issue of the Kingston, Jamaica newspaper The Gleaner ran a story by Londoner Carole Williams imagining what Christmas of the year 2000 would look like. It’s interesting that Williams spends the first paragraph acknowledging that the year 2000 could very well be a nightmarish, Orwellian dystopia wherein Santa lies dead in a snowbank:
Christmas in the Big Brother world of George Orwell did not exist at all; Santa Claus was dead. Indeed, he had never lived. Many eminent sociologists are today profoundly pessimistic at a rate of social progress which is carrying mankind swiftly, it seems, towards Big Brother living.
But to take the optimistic view that Christmas 2000 will be just as much a Christian celebration as now leads to interesting speculation. Firstly, Christmas Day 2000 will be the greatest festival ever known simply because of the anniversary. The events of Christmas 1000 will no doubt be recreated with techniques to envisage now, as a centre-piece of global festivity.
Williams continues to describe a jolly world that is connected by a vast network of videophones:
On Christmas Day 2000, greetings will be sent around the world in colour by television, person to person, as simply as a telegram. There will be two TV systems in every home: one for news and entertainment, the other for personal use, linked to telephone networks. Thus Mr Smith in Hong Kong will dial his home in London from his hotel room, say Happy Christmas and watch his children open their presents.
What will be in those bright, bulky packages only Father knows, but he will have had a staggering variety of gifts to choose from. More popular than today, probably, will be travel vouchers — tickets for supersonic weekend tours of, say, Kenya, or Brazil — anywhere where wild animals and vegetation are still free and unchecked. A ticket to Tokyo from London will cost about 100 dollars in the new world currency. 100 dollars will represent perhaps one week’s pay for a medium-grade computer operator.
Very young children will find midget colour TV sets, no larger than today’s transistor radios, in their Christmas stockings, and tiny wire recorders. Toys will probably be of the do-it-yourself variety — building go-karts powered by selenium cells, with kits for making simple computer and personal radars (of the type chests will use in Blind Man’s Buff). Teenagers will get jet-bikes, two seater hovercraft and electronic organs, the size of a small desk, that will compose pop tunes as well as play them.
The piece also explains that the most glorious Christmas celebration won’t even occur on the earth. Remember that this was 1967, two years before humans would set foot on the moon.
The most extraordinary Christmas in the year 2000 will without a doubt be the one spent by a group of men on the moon — scientists and astronauts of maybe several nations carried there in American and Russian rockets, establishing the possibility of using the moon as a launch-pad for further exploration.
They will be digging for minerals, looking at planets and earth through electronic telescopes so high-powered that they will be able to pick out the village of Bethlehem. Their Christmas dinner will be from tubes and pill bottles, and it is extremely unlikely that any alcohol at all will be allowed — or an after-dinner cigar.
Williams explains that the religious festivities surrounding Christmas will likely be the same as they were in 1967, but the buildings of worship will be different:
Down on earth, religious celebrations will continue as the have done for the previous two thousand years, but in many cities the churches themselves will have changed; their new buildings will be of strange shapes and design, more functional perhaps than inspirational and hundreds of them will be interdenominational, a practising symbol of ecumenicalism.
The Dec 23, 1976 Frederick News (Frederick, MD) looked a little deeper into the future and described Christmas in the year 2176.
Just imagine what Christmas would be like 200 years from now: An electronic Santa Claus would come down the chimney because everyone is bionic and Santa Claus should be, too. Christmas dinner may consist of sea weed and other delicacies from the deep. Mistletoe would only be placed in aristocratic homes because it would be much too expensive for the average family to buy.
There would be no such thing as Christmas shopping, because all the ordering can be done from home by an automatic shopping device.
Children would no longer have to wait so impatiently for the Christmas holiday to officially close schools, because you would only have to unplug the electronic classroom connector each student would have in his home. There would be no worry of what to do with the Christmas tree after the season, because it would have to be replanted and used again the following year.
The Lethbridge Public Library in Canada held a Christmas short story contest in 1977. The winners were published in December 24 edition of The Lethbridge Herald. Little Mike Laycock won first prize in the 9-10 year old category with his story titled, “Christmas in the Future.”
It was the night before Christmas, in the year 2011, and in a castle far away, a man named Claus was scurrying down a gigantic aisle of toys. Now and then he stopped in front of an elf to give him directions.
“Hurrying, hurrying,” he mumbled, “will I ever get some rest?” Finally everything was ready and the elves began to load the sled. Rudolph and all the other reindeer had grown long beards, and were too old to pull the sled anymore. So Santa went out and bought an atomic powered sled. It was a smart idea because in the winter nothing runs like a (John) Deere.
Well, if you could have seen the pile of toys you would have been amazed! There were piles of toys fifteen feet tall! Soon all the toys were loaded. Santa put on his crash helmet, hopped into the sled and brought the cockpit cover down. He flicked a few switches, pressed a few buttons, and he was off. Zooming through the air at sublight speed, he delivered toys to places like China, U.S.S.R., Canada, U.S.A. etc.
He flew over the cities dropping presents. He dropped them because each present had a small guidance system that guided the presents down a chimney. Then parachutes opened and the presents gently touched the ground.
It was snowing heavily and the ground was glittering with beauty. The stars were shining, the moon was full, and there, painted against the sky, was Santa, zooming across the sky in his atomic powered sled.
This drawing by 13-year-old Dennis Snowbarger appeared in the November 28, 1963 Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kansas). Dennis won second place in a contest the newspaper put on. It would appear that Dennis’s art was inspired by the TV show The Jetsons, whose original 24 episode run was from late 1962 through early 1963.
The “Junior Edition” of the San Mateo Times (San Mateo, CA) was promoted as being “by children, for everyone.” In the December 17, 1966 edition of the Junior Edition, Bill Neill from Abbott Middle School wrote a short piece which imagined a “modern Santa Claus” in the year 2001. In Bill’s vision of Christmas future, not only does Santa have an atomic-powered sleigh, he also has robot reindeer!
It is the year 2001. It is nearing Christmas. Santa and all his helpers were making toy machine guns, mini jets (used like a bike), life-size dolls that walk, talk and think like any human, electric guitars, and 15-piece drum sets (which are almost out of style).
When the big night arrives, everyone is excited. As Santa takes off, he puts on his sunglasses to protect his eyes from the city lights. Five, four, three, two, one, Blast Off! Santa takes off in his atomic-powered sleigh and his robot reindeer.
Our modern Santa arrives at his first house with a soft landing. After Santa packs up his portable chimney elevator, fire extinguisher and gifts, he slides down the chimney. These motions are repeated several billion times.
Things have changed. The details of how Santa arrives has changed and will continue to change, but his legend will remain.
Original illustration of robot Santa by Will Pierce.
Read more articles about the holidays with our Smithsonian Holiday Guide here
November 23, 2011
Many Americans celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow will have a meal centered around Ben Franklin’s favorite bird — the turkey. But if this cartoon from the September 19, 1926 Ogden Standard-Examiner had proven prescient, the Thanksgiving meal of the 21st century would’ve been entirely pill-based.
The turn of the 20th century brought a whole host of predictions about the future of meat consumption and food chemistry in the United States. Whether borne of a Malthusian fear that the earth simply could not support a growing population, or a repulsion at the conditions of both slaughterhouses and the average American kitchen, the future of food was envisioned by many prognosticators as entirely meatless and often synthetic.
In an 1894 McClure’s magazine piece called “Foods in the Year 2000″ Professor Marcelin Berthelot predicted that chemistry would completely replace agriculture in providing humans the sustenance they need:
Wheat fields and corn fields are to disappear from the face of the earth, because flour and meal will no longer be grown, but made. Herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, and droves of swine will cease to be bred, because beef and mutton and pork will be manufactured direct from their elements. Fruit and flowers will doubtless continue to be grown as cheap decorative luxuries, but no longer as necessities of food or ornament. There will be in the great air trains of the future no grain or cattle or coal cars, because the fundamental food elements will exist everywhere and require no transportation. Coal will no longer be dug, except perhaps with the object of transforming it into bread or meat. The engines of the great food factories will be driven, not by artificial combustion, but by the underlying heat of the globe.
Likewise, the March 29, 1895 newspaper Homestead (Des Moines, IA) wrote that, “a so purely practical man as Edison has indulged in prophesies of a time to come when agriculture shall be no more, and when the beefsteak of the future shall be the product of the chemist instead of that of the feeder and live-stock grower.”
Synthetic food was also seen as a possible liberator of women from the kitchen. In 1893 feminist Mary E. Lease, a vegetarian, advocated that food be synthesized in laboratories for both the benefit of woman and animal. She predicted that by 1993 the slaughterhouses would be converted into “conservatories and beds of bloom.”
A January 11, 1914 article in the Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) was titled “How Things Will Be in the Twenty-First Century” and assumed that the era would be entirely meat-free.
Cooking, perhaps, will not be done at any large scale at home… and cooking will be a much less disgusting process than it is now. We shall not do most of our cooking by such a wasteful and unwholesome method as boiling, whereby the important soluble salts of nearly all food are thrown away. As animal food will have been wholly abandoned before the end of this century, the debris of the kitchen will be much more manageable than at present.
Interestingly, that last line appears to have been plagiarized from Baron Russell. The March 17, 1907 Washington Post published an article from the Chicago Tribune titled “How Our Progeny Will Live One Hundred Years Hence.” The piece takes predictions from Russell, who wrote a book in 1905 titled A Hundred Years Hence. Russell imagines a world of air purifiers, automatic dishwashers, zero crime, and vegetarians.
While envisioning the kitchens of the future, Russell also notes that city buildings will be so high that there won’t be sufficient sunlight for people and vegetation below. The solution? Artificial electric light which is capable of sustaining life.
Cooking perhaps will not be done at all on any large scale at home. At any rate it will be a much less disgusting process than it is to-day. In no case will the domestic servant of a hundred years hence be called upon to stand by a roaring fire laid by herself and to be cleaned up by herself when done with in order to cook the family dinner. Every measure of heat will be furnished in electrically fitted receptacles with or without water jackets or steam jackets, and unquestionably all cooking will be done in hermetically closed vessels.
Animal food will have been wholly abandoned before the end of the century, the debris of the kitchen will be much more manageable than at present, and the kitchen sink will cease to be a place of unapproachable loathsomeness. Dishes and utensils will be dropped into an automatic receptacle for cleaning, swirled by clean water delivered with force and charged with nascent oxygen, dried by electric heat, and polished by electric force. And all that has come off the plates will drop through the scullery floor into the destructor beneath to be oxygenated and made away with.
All apartments in city houses will contain an oxygenator, which will furnish purer air than the air of the fresh countryside. And in bedrooms at least there will be a chemical apparatus which will absorb carbon dioxide and at the same time slowly give off a certain amount of oxygen — just enough to raise the oxygenation of the air to the standard of the best country places. Similar appliances will be at work in the streets, so that town air will be just as wholesome, just as tonic and invigorating as country air.
Since the high buildings of the future wil keep out the sunlight, electric light, carrying an all the ray activity of the sunlight and just as capable of fostering life and vegetation, will serve the street. Thus so far as hygiene goes, town life will be on a par with country life.
The absolutely fascinating 2006 book Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food by Warren Belasco elaborates further on the hopes and fears of the era:
Similarly, in 1893 the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Jeremiah Rusk, predicted that improvements in conventional farming could increase production sixfold — perhaps enough to feed even a billion Americans by 1990.
Rusk’s assessment was part of a series of nationally syndicated newspaper columns designed to transmit the largely cornucopian spirit of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Most of the series’ seventy-four experts confidently assumed that modern technologies — ranging from conventional seed selection to that science fiction favorite, the meal-in-a-pill — could easily feed the 150 million Americans expected in 1993 (actual: 256 million).
November 18, 2011
The January 18, 1925, Zanesville Times Signal (Zanesville, Ohio) ran an article about a proposed 88 story skyscraper in New York. Titled “How We Will Live Tomorrow,” the article imagined how New Yorkers and other city-dwellers might eventually live in skyscrapers of the future. The article talks about the amazing height of the proposed structure, but also points out the various considerations one must make when living at a higher altitude.
The article mentions a 1,000 foot building, which even by today’s standards would be quite tall. The tallest building in New York City is currently the Empire State building at 1,250 feet. Until September 11, 2001, the North Tower of the World Trade Center stood as the tallest building in New York City at 1,368 feet tall. Interestingly, the year this article ran (in 1925) was the year that New York overtook London as the most populous city in the world.
The contemplated eighty-eight-story building, 1000 feet in height, which is to occupy an entire block on lower Broadway, may exceed in cubical contents the Pyramid of Cheops, hitherto the largest structure erected by human hands.
The Pyramid of Cheops was originally 481 feet high, and its base is a square measuring 756 feet on each side. The Woolworth Building is 792 feet in heigh, but covers a relatively small area of ground.
The proposed building, when it has been erected will offer to contemplation some rather remarkable phenomena. For instance, on the top floor an egg, to be properly boiled, will require two and a half seconds more time than would be needed at the street level.
That is because the air pressure will be less than at the street level by seventy pounds to the square foot, and water will boil at 209 degrees, instead of the ordinary 212. In a saucepan water cannot be heated beyond boiling point, and, being less hot at an altitude of 1000 feet, it will not cook an egg so quickly.
When one climbs a mountain one finds changes of climate corresponding to what would be found if one were to travel northward. Thus, according to the reckoning of the United States Weather Bureau, the climate on top of the contemplated eighty-eight-story building will correspond to that of the Southern Berkshires in Massachusetts.
The newspaper ran a series of illustrations to accompany the article that demonstrate the communal features of skyscraper living and new considerations (however ridiculous) of living at 1,000 feet. The skyscraper was imagined to feature billiard rooms, parlors for dancing and bowling alleys. One of the illustrations explains that “the housewife will be annoyed by no petty disputes with butcher and grocer over the accuracy of their accounts.” The latter is a reference to the fact that meals will no longer be prepared at home, but “bought at wholesale rates by a manger, or by a committee representing the families of the block, and the cooks and other servants employed to do the work tend to everything, relieving the housewives of all bother.”
The article looked to history for perspective on what wonders the next hundred years of skyscraper living may bring:
Compare the New York of today with what it was a century ago. May one not suppose that a century from now it will have undergone a transformation equally remarkable? Already the architects are planning, in a tentative way, buildings of sixty or seventy stories that are to occupy entire blocks, providing for all sorts of shops and other commercial enterprises, while affording space for the comfortable housing of thousands of families. Such a building will be in effect a whole town under one roof. The New York of today has great numbers of apartment houses. It has multitudes of family dwellings. The whole system must before long undergo a radical change. A block system of construction will replace it, achieving an economy of space which is an inexorable necessity. It is the only system under which the utmost possible utilization of ground area can be obtained.
Predictions of communal kitchens in the future were quite popular in utopian novels of the late 19th century, like Edward Bellamy’s 1888 tome “Looking Backward.” But this 1925 vision of tomorrow’s kitchen shifts focus to the kind of ordering out that we may be more familiar with today. The illustration contends that “all the housewife of tomorrow will have to do is select the kind of meal she wishes and order it, just as she now phones the butcher for a roast or fowl.”
Interestingly, the pneumatic tube still rears its head in this vision of urban living in the future. The Boston Globe article from 1900 that we looked at a few weeks ago included predictions of the pneumatic tube system Boston would employ by the year 2000. Delivery of everything from parcels to newspapers to food by pneumatic tube was a promise of the early 20th century that would nearly die during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
On a recent occasion the possibilities of the pneumatic tube for the transportation of eatables was satisfactorily demonstrated by the Philadelphia Post-office, which sent by this means a hot dinner of several courses a distance of two miles. For the community block a trolley arrangement might be preferred, with a covered chut and properly insulated receptacles, lined with felt, will keep foods at a piping temperature for a dozen hours.
October 21, 2011
The first decade of the 20th century was, for many people, a period characterized by incredible optimism for the future. The November 22, 1908 Sunday New York Times ran an article titled, “Inventions Which the World Yet Needs.”
The dreams of yesterday are the realizations of today. We live in an age of mechanical, electrical, chemical, and psychical wonder. On every hand the human mind is reaching out to solve the problems of nature. In those solutions are hidden the mysteries and revelations of all things. While the dreamer may dream, it is the practical man of affairs, with a touch of the imaginative in his nature, who materializes and commercializes new forces and new conceptions. Step by step these men lead in the vanguard of progress. What is their conception of the needs of the world? Toward what is their imagination reaching? What in their viewpoint, is the world waiting for—what are the immediate needs of the world in practical, scientific conception and invention?
The article then looks at the predictions of inventor and businessman Thomas Edison; Edward Bruce Moore, who was head of the U.S. Patent Office; Frank Hedley, who would eventually become president of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company; Lewis Nixon, a naval architect; Cortlandt E. Palmer, a mining expert; and Peter Cooper Hewitt, an electrical engineer and inventor.
Edison had nine predictions for the 20th century, touching upon everything from electricity and movie technology to flying machines and the extinction of the locomotive. His first prediction concerned the future of concrete architecture—a topic that, for him, was not purely academic. The inventor had founded the Edison Portland Cement Company in 1899 in order to use excess sand, which was a waste byproduct of his iron ore milling process. Edison had hoped to revolutionize the building of homes by using relatively inexpensive concrete. As Neil Baldwin notes in his book Edison: Inventing the Century, “Always with an eye for spin-offs, Edison went on to produce cement cabinets for the phonograph, and seriously considered building a concrete piano.”
While Edison’s concrete was used in the construction of New York’s Yankee Stadium in 1922, his company and efforts to build homes made entirely of concrete was considered a failure. Edison’s modular homes, measuring 25 by 30 by 40 feet high, failed largely because of the difficulty in creating the reusable, metal molds that were needed to fabricate and mass-produce houses made of concrete. Perhaps, deep down, Edison was skeptical of the venture from the beginning. His predictions in the Miami Metropolis—just three years after his New York Times interview—would quickly swing in favor of steel as the building material of the future.
An excerpt from the New York Times piece appears below.
NINE NEW INVENTIONS CERTAIN
They Will Come Soon — and Pave the Way for Hundreds More
Interview with Thomas A. Edison
The next era will mark the most wonderful advance in science and invention that the world has ever known or hoped for. So vast will that advance be that we can now have scarcely any conception of its scope, but already a great many of the inventions of the future are assured. It is only of those which I regarded as practical certainties that I speak here.
First — Within the next twenty or thirty years — and it will start with the next two or three — concrete architecture will take enormous strides forward; the art of molding concrete will be reduced to a science of perfection and, what is equally important, of cheapness; there will rise up a large number of gifted architects, and through their efforts cities and towns will spring up in this country beside which Turner’s picture of ancient Rome and Carthage will pale into nothingness and the buildings of the Columbia Exhibition will appear common. But great expense will not attend this; it will be done so that the poor will be able to enjoy houses more beautiful than the rich now aspire to, and the man earning $1.50 a day, with a family to support, will be better housed than the man of to-day who is earning $10.
Second — Moving-picture machines will be so perfected that the characters will not only move, but will speak, and all the accessories and effects of the stage will be faithfully reproduced on the living picture stage. This, of course, will not be done as well as on the regular stage, but its standard will approach very near to that, and the fact that such entertainment will be furnished for 5 cents will draw vast numbers of the working classes. The result will be that the masses will have the advantage of the moral of good drama, they will find an inexpensive and improving way of spending the evening, and death knell of the saloon will be sounded.
Third — In perhaps fifteen or twenty years — depending on the financial condition of the country — the locomotive will pass almost altogether out of use, and all our main trunk railways will be operated by electricity.
Fourth — A new fertilizer will spring into existence, containing a large percentage of nitrogen. This will be drawn from the air by electricity, and will be used to increase the arability of the land.
Fifth — All our water power will be utilized by electricity to an extent now almost unthought of, and will be used with great advantage, both industrially and for railroads.
Sixth — A successful serial navigation will be established — perhaps for mails — and will achieve a sound practical working basis.
Seventh — We shall be able to protect ourselves against environment by the use of serums and things of that sort so that the general state of health will improve and the average span of life will increase by a large percentage. The grand fight which is being made against tuberculosis and cancer will reach a successful culmination, and those diseases will be entirely mastered.
Eighth — A new force in nature, of some sort or other, will be discovered by which many things not now understood will be explained. We unfortunately have only five senses; if we had eight we’d know more.
Ninth — We will realize the possibilities of our coal supplies better, and will learn how to utilize them so that 90 percent of the efficiency will not be thrown away, as it is today.
Finally, let it be said, hardly any piece of machinery now manufactured is more than 10 percent perfect. As the years go on this will be improved upon tremendously; more automatic machinery will be devised, and articles of comfort and luxury will be produced in enormous numbers at such small cost that all classes will be able to enjoy the benefits of them.
These are some of the inventions which the world is awaiting which it is sure of seeing realized. Just how they will be realized is what the inventors are working now to determine.