France in the Year 2000

A lot of technological innovations have emerged in the late 19th century. The world has seen birth of things like: internal combustion engine, telegraph, moving pictures, sound recording, even elevator has been invented in the 19th century!

So it is not surprising that a lot of people speculated about the world in the future. I mean their future, remember, this was all happening over 100 years ago.

Let’s see how Jean-Marc Côté and other French artists imagined the future (click for larger size images):

The New-Fangled Barber

In this picture we see how people imagined automation of everyday tasks. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened, it is just way too complicated to achieve this level of automation even with today’s technology.

 

An Aerial Battle

This fantasy became reality a lot sooner than everyone could have imagined. First experiments of shooting from a plane have been made in 1910. In 1911 and 1912 planes were already used to drop bombs in Italo-Turkish and Balkan wars.

 

Aero-Cab Station

According to this picture it seems that we were supposed to have small flying cars (cabs) wide spread and available to all people. This hasn’t happened, but we could say that todays airports are quite close to this fantasy.

 

The Rural Postman

For one reason or another (I think it’s mostly due to safety reasons) we do not have personal flying machines yet.

 

Divers on Horseback

It is difficult to tell what exactly is shown here as the futuristic prediction. Perhaps that we will find large enough sea creatures that we could use like horses? To some extent this has happened – some divers make friends with dolphins who let them ride on their backs.

 

Electric Scrubbing

Electricity was a big thing back then. People just started getting used to and were trying to find uses for it. They rightfully thought that it could be used to power all sorts of mechanisms.

 

Fishing for Seagulls

Fishing for Seagulls is just an inverse of normal fishing. Instead of staying in the open air and trying to catch fish in the water, the people were supposed to stay in the water and hunt for animals outside it. Hasn’t happened, perhaps bit impractical?..

 

Aviation Police

Going even further than small flying machines in this picture we see a fantasy of a personal flying apparatus. Several attempts have been made to create such things (typically called “jetpacks”), but they all were a failure – impractical, and not very safe at all.

 

Advance Sentinel in a Helicopter

Hard to tell what technological invention is being promoted in this picture. If it is a helicopter, then yes, we have them, and we use them a lot. However modern helicopters still are not able to serve as flying posts for guards – they require a lot of fuel to stay in the air.

 

Intensive Breeding

Not only we have Intensive Breeding, but we also have modified the food that we give to animals, so that they grow larger and quicker.

 

The Little Eagle-Nest Robbers

We see personal flying apparatus again in this picture. It seems that this was quite a popular fantasy at the time. Unfortunately we failed to create such thing.

 

A Race in the Pacific

Strangely enough, but with all our technological advances we have explored underwater very little. Breathing and moving under the water is still a major problem for us, so we do not spend as much time as we could. Going deeper, there’s another problem – water pressure, which we can’t get used to very easily.

 

A Well-Trained Orchestra

Perhaps it was difficult to train musicians to play in tune and at the same speed that this was seen as an improvement. There is no need to create machines that play real instruments – our recording and playback systems are very good at recording, generating and re-creating any music.

 

At School

It would be nice to be able to “upload” knowledge to pupils’ heads, unfortunately we cannot do this yet…

 

Madame at Her Toilette

Madame and Her Toilette are still very complicated affair, way beyond any modern advanced technology. :)

 

Battle-Cars

We most definitely progressed very well in this area. Battle cars were already used in World War I.

 

A Torpedo Plane

Somewhat naive representation of a modern bomber plane. First bomber planes appeared not long after this picture was drawn – in 1911.

 

A Croquet Party

Currently we do not go beyond simple scuba-diving as far as under the water fun activities are concerned.

 

A Whale Bus

Doubtfully a 30 tons (30’000 kilograms!) weighting whale will cooperate with us on such affairs anytime soon…