What do you think the world will look like in 2123? No more kitchens? No poverty? Shorter work weeks? One hundred years ago, in 1923, people thought our current lives would look a lot different than they actually do today. And some of their predictions, as seen in newspapers of the time, are downright comical.
A researcher and instructor at the University of Calgary, Paul Fairie, compiled newspaper clippings of various last century experts’ 2023 forecasts and posted them to his Twitter account earlier this month. They include projections about what you might expect: population growth, life expectancy and advances in industry; and others you might not like trends in personal hygiene and a population full of curly-haired men. Perhaps a little wishful thinking went into the predictions of 1923 like one actual one which prophesized that by 2023 we would all be beautiful, leaving no need for beauty contests.
The following are some of Fairie’s newspaper clippings:
Living longer and working smarter
Some newspapers predicted that the average person would live longer in 2023, though the exact amount varies based on whom you ask. One said the average lifespan could reach 100 years, though certain individuals could make it to 150 or even 200. Another cited a scientist who put the average at 300 years. (According to Wikipedia, in 2019-2020 the world’s life expectancy at birth is now 72.6 – 73.2 years).
Radio will replace gasoline
Minneapolis Journal: It is an attractive prophecy that Glenn Curtiss, an airplane authority, gives of travel. He predicts that by the year 2023 gasoline as a motive power will have been replaced by radio waves and that the skies will be filled with myriad craft sailing over well-defined routes.
All people will be beautiful
Beauty contests will be unnecessary as there will be so many beautiful people that it will be almost impossible to select winners. The same will apply to baby contests.
The US will have a population of 300 million
The population of the United States in the year 2023 probably 300,000,000, will imply an immense progress in the drainage of our low lands, in the irrigation of arid lands. (According to the current US Census, the United States’ population was 331.9 million in 2021).
Private kitchens will disappear
The private kitchen will disappear. Tomorrow’s food will be seasoned and prepared by chemical formulas, which will preserve the freshness of fruits and meats, rid them of indigestible qualities, and send them to the table ready to use. Instead of sauces that merely cozen the palate, we shall have delectable blends of concentrated vitamins, calories, ferments, and tissue tonics.
People will communicate using watch-size radio telephones
(This person would have definitely bought stock early on in Amazon and Apple)
By 2023 there’ll be no mail between New York and San Francisco. Pittsburgh and London concerns will record, on talking films, orders from merchants in Peking, and 1,000-mile-an-hour freighters will make deliveries of goods before sunset. Watch-size radio telephones will keep everybody in communication with the ends of the earth.
What are your predictions for 2123?