Over two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered
As WW1 raged people looked to the future, but how accurately did they predict the world of 2015?
#1 Communication – Nikola Tesla Predicts Wireless
This was the year that the genius known as “The Man Who Invented The 20th Century” announced his world wireless system. It would connect pictures, voice, music, transactions and signatures, globally and instantly. He said of his wireless world: “It’s all a wonderful thing. Wireless is coming to mankind in its full meaning like a hurricane some of these days. Some day there will be, say, six great wireless telephone stations in a world system connecting all the inhabitants on this earth to one another, not only by voice, but by sight. It’s surely coming.” The same year he stated that of four main energy sources (fuel, water, sun, wind) it was wind that had offered man the best opportunities.
#2 Technology – The World Fair 1915, San Francisco
18 million visitors were awed by the dazzlingly lit ‘City Luminous’. It was a technicolour marvel, with a ‘Tower of Jewels’ 435 feet high that sparkled in the sun, and was lit by night. The ‘Scintillator’ beamed lights in seven colors across artificial fog. The fair showcased some revolutionary technology: the first transcontinental telephone, the Ukelele (which created a ukelele craze) the first indoor flight, even a giant typewriter that weighed 14 tons. A Ford assembly line produced 4,000 cars while Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote, “I saw cows being milked with a milk machine…it milked them clean and the cows did not object in the least.” The futuristic fairground can be enjoyed here:
#3 Warfare – The Atomic Bomb
The same year scientist Robert Wood wrote a novel called “The Man Who Rocked The Earth”. This told the startling story of a nuclear explosion. As the war rages, a bomb made from Uranium is created and the book describes in terribly accurate detail a nuclear explosion, the subsequent fallout and radiation sickness suffered by the victims.
#4 Oceanography – Continental Drift
Alfred Wegener looked at the oceans and continents and noted that there were similar plant and animal fossils and rock forms in Africa and South America as well on other continents separated by oceans. He proposed they had once been connected landmasses. Not initially accepted by scientists his theory now underpins the understanding of plate tectonics.
#5 Biology – Genetics And Cancer
In 1915, the biologist Theodor Boveri made some novel and astonishingly accurate predictions. He suggested that the loss of tumour suppressor genes is a key driver in the development of cancer. He also suggested that genetic inheritance could play a role in some cancers and that cancers can arise from single cells.
#6 Home Life – The Dream Of Tomorrow
In an article in Ladies Home Journal titled “You Will Think This A Dream” the paradise of the future was set out. In this world, electricity would “cook all meals, heat and cool temperature-controlled homes, run industry and propel all forms of transportation.” This dream (for the time being at least) came wholly true.