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Advertising in the Near Future (1885)

While almost all of science fiction is a direct comment of the time in which it was created more so than a prediction of the future, paleo-futurism is more often a direct prediction of the future. This image of "advertising in the near future," while not science fiction, is clearly more a comment on the period in which it was published.

The image is from an 1885 issue of Puck magazine but can also be found in the 1956 book Predictions by John Durant.

See also:
Picturesque America (1909)

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Reader Comments (12)

Simpsons Did It!

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCthulhuRlyeh

1885 and they were advertising "Suredeath" cigarettes. To bad nobody caught on for so many years.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Willis

I can't see a perfume called "Kum-Off" getting a huge market share

December 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

A detergent, on the other hand... :)

December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Can anyone make out the name on the sinking ship?

December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

The "U.S. MAN of WAR"? That's the ship's name.

What's interesting to me is the 1880's Manhattan in the background -- such a flatland before the invention of skyscrapers.

December 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjohnny q.

This cartoon is reprinted in color in the book "Statue of Liberty Encylopedia" by Barry Moreno. Moreno's book dates the image as 1883 and reprints the cartoon's original caption: "Let the advertising agents take charge of the Bartholdi business and the money will be raised without delay." The cartoon is satirizing the inability of those responsible to raise money to complete the Statue's pedestal (the funds wouldn't be fully raised until 1886) and the overuse of the Statue in advertising at the time, joking suggestion that ad space be sold on the Statue to raise the missing funds.

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Also, what's the joke with New Jersey being written as "New J----y" as if it was something obscene? Is it implying that New Jersey is obscene in itself, or is it a play on the fact that the name was taken from a British-owned island?

December 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

This is the most accurate prediction I have ever seen...

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAliasUndercover

Well, What do you know? This one came true :)

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVilly

That looks strangely similar to the description in David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest". I wonder if he had seen this picture. Otherwise, it would be some really big coincidence. By the way: Infinite Jest is in some respects paleo-futuristic itself - apart from being one of the greatest novels of the last 50 years.

December 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersam

Full Uncropped Page

From here:

May 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermzalikowski

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