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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

City of the Future Postcards (circa 1910)

 

Leominster in the Future (postcard circa 1910)

At the turn of the 20th century, the postcard seemed to be a popular medium with which to imagine the future. While these depictions were often tongue-in-cheek they, like the Jetsons in the 1960s, held some kernel of truth about society's expectations for what was to come. We see in these two cards some things we might obviously expect like flying machines, subways, cars and monorail trains. The postcards however, also illustrate things that we take for granted today, such as a department of sewers building. Don't forget pneumatic tubes which, as well all know, made the postal service obsolete in 1924. I sure do love when my packages are delivered via Parcel Tube. How did we live without it?

These postcards from the early part of the 20th century were somewhat over-the-top in their depictions (see the floating park in the sky), but they reflected the optimism of the time, as inventions like the automobile and aeroplane ushered humanity into a fast, new mobile future.

Claremont, N.H. in the Future (postcard circa 1910)

Previously on Paleo-Future:

The future of commuting took a left turn (2009)

The Public School of Tomorrow (1912)