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Predictions from 1923

Predicting the future – what do you think life will be like a century from now, in the year 2123?  Will we finally have those flying cars?  Will we be ruled by robots?.

Remember the song by Zager and Evans, ‘In The Year 2525‘? It was rather cryptic, but we do have to wonder what the future holds, as they did in the past.

Someone went through old newspaper articles from 1923 to see what predictions were being made for the year that was a century away – 2023.

In 1923 experts took a stab at making predictions about what life would be like in 100 years.  Paul Fairie, a researcher at the University of Calgary, compiled 100-year-old newspaper clippings with such predictions and added them to a now-viral Twitter thread.

Some of them HAD to come true, right? Like “constant airline traffic” (unless you’re flying Southwest), America’s population topping 300 million people, and  — being able to talk to someone in real-time through your wristwatch – hello Apple!

They also said that newspapers would not exist in 50 years, and that war would be wireless.

Many of these predictions were spot on, but some of the others really were not that far-fetched.

Some very smart people back in 1923. See for yourself!

-Carla Rea

  • People will work a maximum of four hours a day

    The headline for that one was: “No More Hard Work by 2023!” They said electricity would make it possible.  (By the way, in 1923, less than half of U.S. homes had power). I DO think we should continue to strive for that four hour work week!

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Fox photos via Getty Images

  • No ugly people

    They thought beauty pageants would become obsolete, because it would be almost impossible to choose a winner because everyone would be beautiful! They thought the same would go for babies.

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Hutton Archives via Getty Images

  • Women will blacken their teeth, and shave their heads, to be fashionable. Men will curl their hair

    And here we are! People whiten their teeth all the time. Women do their make-up to look like a black eye, or like they have been crying. They wear Grillz on their teeth. So black teeth? So I’m sure blackened teeth are the next big thing! Men curling their hair – can you say 80’s perm???

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: cerro_photography via Getty Images

  • Gasoline will be replaced by radio waves

    So, powering your car by blasting radio waves. Again, now – not that odd, and it can absolutely be done.

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: DutchScenery via Getty Images

  • The average life expectancy will be 100 years old. Another expert said 300 years old!

    The average life expectancy in the U.S. in 1923 was just 57 years old, and now it’s around 76.  The oldest living person is set to turn 119 next month. So, average? No. But we sure are far beyond where we were a century ago.

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: LightFieldStudio via Getty Images

  • Flying from Chicago to Germany will ONLY take 18 hours

    They were actually far too conservative with this one. It’s half that time – around a nine-hour flight. But they were definitely thinking in the right direction!

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Hutton Archives via Getty Images

  • Cancer will be eradicated

    Unfortunately, not yet. But we’re making pretty good progress, and hopefully in the next century cancer will go the way of polio, and it will just be another disease of the past.

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

  • Homes won't have kitchens anymore

    The thought was that basically we’d have ways to make food using, “chemical formulas” and wouldn’t need to cook.  Not that far off. Read the ingredients in your food – there are a lot of “chemical formulas” that make it. We do however, have DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. They could have had this if they just gave the beef tongue it to the Model T driver!

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Hutton Archives via Getty Images

  • Telepathy will exist

    That one said we’d even be able to speak telepathically with babies. Although some say they can, and charge people a lot of money to try to prove it!

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: libre de droit via Getty Images


  • Kidney cosies - what in the...???

    What? I mean how did these not catch on??? Are they like beer koozies, but to keep your internal organs warm.  Wait – isn’t that a coat?

    Predictions from 1923

    Photo: Big5 Studio via Getty Images