The Future

I found this collection of quotations on Futility Closet's blog here. Sorry to phone it in so much, but I'm teaching and my life has turned really hectic, so expect lots of reblogs until the semester ends.

On a side note, I love absolutely everything to do with the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and highly recommend that everyone read Devil in the White City as soon as humanly possible. I will know if you don't. I will know.

"On the occasion of the 1893 World’s Fair, the American Press Association asked 74 prominent Americans to imagine the United States of 1993. Some responses:

  • “By the 1990s, longevity will be so improved that 150 years will be no unusual age to reach.” — Thomas De Witt Talmage, Presbyterian preacher
  • “In the 1990s, the United States will be a government of perhaps 60 states, situated in both North and South America.” — Asa C. Matthews, comptroller of the Treasury
  • “Wealth will be more widely and equally distributed. Great corporations and business interests will be conducted harmoniously — on the principle of the employers and workers sharing in the profits.” — Junius Henri Browne, journalist
  • Three hours will constitute a long day’s work.” — Mary E. Lease, activist and lecturer
  • Trousers will be relegated to bookkeepers, barbers, pastry bakers, and cripples.” — Van Buren Denslow, attorney and economist
  • We are going to see a wonderful development in the use of jewels in American churches.” — George F. Kunz, mineralogist
  • “By the end of the Twentieth Century, taxation will be reduced to a minimum, the entire world will be open to trade, and there will be no need of a standing army.” — Erastus Wiman, journalist

"'Perhaps I am wrong in some of these prophecies,' reflected drama critic John Habberton, who had predicted that all marriages would be happy. 'But if that is so, I shall not be here to be twitted with it — now will I?'”

Maybe not, but he definitely will be tweeted.

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2 Responses to The Future

  1. hearts_blood says:

    Wait, so… what did Mr. Denslow think was going to replace trousers? Kilts? Saris? Socially-acceptable nudity?


    • I don’t know! All I could think when reading this was, “THIS QUOTE NEEDS SO MUCH MORE INFORMATION.”
      Also, I’m not sure why that list of randomly selected demographics has to still wear trousers while everyone else gets to enjoy a pant-less utopia.


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