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Predictions for 1993 (1893)

The March 25, 1893 Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, OH) ran predictions of what the world of 1993 would look like. Excerpts from each of the four journalists (George Alfred Townson, Kate Field, Nym Crinkle, and John Swinton) appear below. The entire article is embedded below, or you can read it here.

Substitute the word "blog" for "book" in the last prediction and it could have easily been written today.

  • Where will be our greatest city? In all probability Chicago. There will be wonderful cities in the west, none more beautiful and extensive than Salt Lake City; but unless all signs fail Chicago will take precedence.
  • So called temperance legislation is a temporary aberration of well meaning but narrow minded men and women with whom sentimentality supplants reason, and who actually thinks morals are an affair of legislation. One hundred years hence personal liberty will be more than a phrase. When it is a fact sumptuary laws will be as impossible as witch burning is now.
  • The encyclopedic man, who makes a show of knowing all things, will give way to the specialist, who makes an effort to know one thing and know it well.
  • They will have more leisure to think. The present rate of headlong material activity cannot be kept up for another hundred years.
  • While I am writing this the statesmen of the country are asking themselves if it is not time to make laws which shall restrict if they do not put a stop to immigration.
  • In 100 years Denver will be as big as New York and in the center of a vast population.
  • If the republic remains politically compact and doesn't fall apart at the Mississippi river, Canada will be either part of it or an independent sovereignty, and the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico will be the Riviera of the western continent.
  • I guess that there will be great political and social changes in our country before the year 1993, and that these changes will be advantageous to the community at large. I guess that before the next century shall end the functions and powers of our government will be greatly enlarged; that railroads, telegraphs and many other things now held as private spoil will be public property; that law, medicine and theology will be more reasonable than they now are; that the inventions and discoveries will be greater than we have ever yet had, and that the welfare of mankind will be higher than it is in this age of confusion.
  • Every person of fairly good education and of restless mind writes a book. As a rule, it is a superficial book, but it swells the bulk and it indicated the cerebral unrest that is trying to express itself. We have arrived at a condition in which more books are printed than the world can read. This is true not only of books that are not worth reading, but it is true of the books that are. All this I take to be the result of an intellectual affranchisement that is new, and of a dissemination of knowledge instead of concentration of culture. Everybody wants to say something. But it is slowly growing upon the world that everybody has not got something to say. Therefore one may even at this moment detect the causes which will produce reaction. In 100 years there will not be so many books printed, but there will be more said. That seems to me to be inevitable.

1893 March 25 Newark Daily Advocate - Newark OH Pa Leo Future

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Reader Comments (8)

The greatest city in the future? Chicago. Why? Because.

"...and what is Chicago, if not a very comforting urban legend? A fantasy world, if you will, of gangsters and Italian beef sandwiches and two—not just one—but two baseball teams competing with each other all the time, and streets paved with gold where lobsters walk, or whatever. It’s like an El Dorado of North America."
-Jon Hodgman

May 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah in Chicago

Wow -- without the scan of the old paper to back it up, I would swear that last quote was a hoax, PRETENDING to be prescient about blogs. Amazing.

"the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico will be the Riviera of the western continent" -- well, amazing and hilarious.

May 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica

"we must nourish our peasantry, including the 8,000,000 of our blacks, for an empire without servants might almost be without homes or utensils." - obviously leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially since it took until 2009 to have a person of color elected to our highest office. on the other hand, "He who confiscates my Sunday to serve his superstition tyrannizes over one-seventh of my life" I can agree with.

May 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteryadda

The remark on the specalization of knowledge was pretty good, as well as the one on temperance legislation.

May 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLurker

Not bad.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAliasUndercover

Very nice post...I like the predictions.

August 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLokesh Goyal

My husband grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (in fact, in the town hit by the eye of Katrina- Pass Christian). He told me people called it the "Redneck Riviera" and the denizens "Coast Trash."

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Hull

nice ones.

some fairly accurate predictions, especially the specialization one.
and, as someone remarked, the last quote about personal book is akin to blogs

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommentersomeoneMeaningful

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