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The Family Plane of 2030 A.D. (1930)

The June 15, 1930 Fresno Bee (Fresno, CA) published a piece about the year 2030 as envisioned by F.E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead. Super-airplanes, synthetic food, eugenics and a 16-hour work week are just a few of his predictions. An excerpt about transportation from the piece appears below. Bibliodyssey has a great collection of illustrations by E. McKnight Kauffer, which were used in Smith's book, The World in 2030 A.D.

In speaking of the "family" plane, a development conceded by almost everyone, Birkenhead adds that it will mean the relegating of the automobile to a most minor place in the field of transportation.


"By 2030," he says, "motor cars will probably have passed their zenith of popularity. A century later they will only be used for shopping, picnics and the amusement of youth. They will, in fact, sink to the level now occupied by the bicycle."

We may look forward then, it is to be supposed, to having our grandchildren tour the more out-of-the-way parts of the world and marvel at the "quaint" people who still chug here and there in automobiles even as we now smile at Bermuda where bicycles and horse-drawn buggies are the only forms of transportation allowed.

See also:
Sky Toboggan (1935)
Cyclonic Rocket (circa 1930)


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  • Response
    Response: ninja essays
    Wow! This is really an awesome thing to read, I was really surprised when I read this article. How Fresno bee had got this of thought and written this article he is talking about 100 years from his present year. That is really great and I would like to appreciate this ...

Reader Comments (2)

Six o'clock news in an alternate 2031: "Was 'air rage' the cause of a ten-plane pile-up on top of the Highway 1 Linear Park Exchange Building? Film at eleven..."

August 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermin0taur

Apparently neither F.E. Smith nor the entire editorial staff at the New York Times in 1830 figured out that it is impossible to have Breakfast in NY followed by Lunch in London - no matter how fast you get there. This is simply because it is already 2PM in London when you LEAVE New York at 9AM. Well, perhaps we will also be able to go BACK IN TIME in the year 2030! Bert

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBert Urfer

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