Mike the Mad Biologist

Boston of the Future Viewed from 1908

The Boston Public Library has a really cool exhibit about postcards related to Boston. Here’s one I thought was funny from 1908 (based on the postage, I think it’s 1908):

Boston in the Future [front]

I want my own unidirigible! Too bad Boston doesn’t really look like this….

If you can’t get to the library, the postcards are online here.

Comments

  1. #1 Joshua
    October 24, 2010

    The thought of texting Sky-T drivers is somewhat terrifying, but I approve of just about everything else on that stamp.

  2. #2 Joshua
    October 24, 2010

    (Or postcard, rather, not stamp.)

  3. #3 harrync
    October 24, 2010

    The postcard has a 2 cent stamp. That rate was in effect from Nov 1917 to July 1919. [Before and after those dates it was 1 cent.] It is possible the mailer put on extra postage [didn’t have a 1 cent handy?], but in those days people seldom wasted even a cent of postage. And of course the card may have been several years old when mailed. [I complement the Library for showing the address side as well as the picture side – often it is the more interesting side.]

  4. #4 FrankenFish
    October 24, 2010

    Note that this was after the advent of heavier-than-air flight (Wright Bros flew in 1903). All the flying contraptions are balloon-ish (except for that umbrella thingie, WTF?).

  5. #5 Glak
    October 24, 2010

    If only the future had gone the way that this postcard wanted it to, it looks much more crisp and clean.
    I love how everything is balloon based which is pretty crazy compared to what actually ended up happening.
    I also love how the train is traveling upside down and in the SKY of all places.
    It’s amazing to see how much we’ve changed since only just 100 years ago, even the clothing that the people are wearing in the picture have changed.

  6. #6 AnonymousCoward
    October 24, 2010

    @FrankenFish I was baffled by the umbrella when I first saw it. All I can surmise is that it’s some way to get off of the Sky-T where you want. One would suppose they’d need some recovery method for the pods that’s not pictured.

  7. #7 scidog
    October 25, 2010

    the train is a monorail and there was one much like it at around the same time period at South St Paul Minnesota.never worked out for taking people from the bluffs to the river flats,a historical marker and a bolt is all thats left.i think i saw photos at a local steak house.

  8. #8 scidog
    October 25, 2010

    the train is a monorail and there was one much like it at around the same time period at South St Paul Minnesota.never worked out for taking people from the bluffs to the river flats,a historical marker and a bolt is all thats left.i think i saw photos at a local steak house.

  9. #9 1984
    October 25, 2010

    This just again confirms that humans are generally terrible at making predictions.

  10. #10 David Wescott
    October 25, 2010

    what are you talking about? Boston totally looks just like that.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    October 25, 2010

    In some cases they were too timid–that car looks like it came out of the 1900-1920 period (note that the driver is on the right, not the left as is normally true in countries where people drive on the right-hand side of the road), and there is a horse parked in front of that building. In other cases they were just wildly wrong, like the train and the airships/balloons. I’m pretty sure that the train is a long distance line, not a local–at least three of the four airships/balloons are flying below the tracks, so I doubt you would want to have very many stations on the line. And is that Death riding in the pink airship? I’m not sure whether the thing he’s waving is a flag or a scythe.

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