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Pet Horse of the Future (1905)

The dawn of the Automobile Age made a lot of people wonder what would come of the horse. In the year 1900 author John Elfreth Watkins even predicted the complete eradication of all animals, aside from the few that we might keep in zoos. Some thought a new era of machines would quickly make animal labor inferior and therefore animals would have to justify their existence, continuously proving their worth so that humans wouldn't just wipe them out as our own population swelled.

This cartoon by Albert Levering appeared in a 1905 issue of Life magazine and imagines the lap-dog sized horse of a thousand years hence. It seems the artist may have been on to something, as one way animals seem to prove their worth is through being overwhelmingly adorable. Squee, etc.

This cartoon can also be found in the book Predictions.

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Reader Comments (4)

That is so off the mark. People wearing hats? Pshaw.

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvil Ray

Interesting how since automobiles were in such infancy they couldn't conceive of a change in how 'carriages' are designed and operated.

Just what does the little guy on top DO?

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSian

The little guy on top calls out directions, since the man at the controls can't see sh*t with that hat on!

April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

So because humans can't find a use for an animal, it has to either radically change or go extinct?

Very little imagination in that artwork, too.

April 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

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