In 1923, people envisioned what the world might look like 100 years later. From science fiction authors to newspapers, people made many predictions about the technological and societal advancements that might be possible by 2023. Some predictions were far-fetched and unbelievable, while others were surprisingly accurate. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most exciting predictions made about 2023 back in 1923.
Scholars Predicted Advancements in Weather Forecasting
The 1923 magazine Science and Invention published an article predicting that humans would be able to control the weather. The author speculated about several possible methods for controlling the weather, which included using giant fans to move clouds and create rain.
One article in the 1923 newspaper series by the University of Calgary stated that scholars “accurately predicted advances in meteorology and the ability to forecast weather more accurately.”
Satirical Prediction of Women Shaving Their Heads
A passage in the novel “Crome Yellow” by Aldous Huxley, published in 1921, reads:
“I prophesy that before the end of this century, all the women will wear trousers, and they will find them more comfortable and convenient than skirts. They will also have their hair cut short, and blacken their teeth. Women will become taller, more muscular, and more flat-chested.”
It’s worth noting that this passage is a satirical comment on the cultural changes that were taking place in the early 20th century. Although predictions of women wearing trousers and cutting their hair short became true, others, such as blackening their teeth, did not.
Cities in the Sky
In a 1923 issue of Science and Invention, an article titled “The Science of Tomorrow” predicted that by 2023, people would live in “a new world of sky-scraping aero-cities.” According to the prediction, enormous dirigibles or airships would transport people and products between floating towns in the clouds.
Air travel is already a standard means of transportation. However, the concept of aero-cities and airship travel is still firmly rooted in science fiction.
No More Hard Work by 2023
Another optimist electrical engineer Dr. Charles P. Steinmetz made a prediction about the future of work. He believed that by 2023, advancements in technology would increase efficiency to the point where people would no longer need to work long hours. Instead, people would be able to get more done in less time, which would lead to shorter work days and more free time for leisure.
Teleportation Would Be Possible
In 1923, the French artist and writer possibility of the teleportation of humans by 2023. Robida described a device that could scan a person’s body, disintegrate it, and recreate it in a new location. Despite ongoing scientific advancements, teleportation remains impossible. However, quantum teleportation has made progress, which involves transferring quantum information from one place to another.
Optimistic Views on Life Expectancy
In 1923, some experts predicted that life expectancy would continue to rise, predicting a lifespan of 100 or 300 years, with some people potentially living much longer.
However, the reality today is that the average life expectancy varies depending on the country. In 2016, the average life expectancy of a baby born in the United States was 76.4 years, while in Australia, it was over 82 years, a decade more than the world average of 72.75 years.
While we may not have reached the wildly optimistic predictions of 100 or 300-year lifespans, there have been significant improvements in public health and medical science over the past century. These improvements have led to longer and healthier lives, and it is likely that life expectancy will continue to rise in the future.
Cities Would Be Covered by Giant Glass Dome
During the 1920s, it was believed that air pollution and extreme weather conditions would make it impossible for people to live in cities. As a solution, some predicted that giant glass domes would cover cities. In 1923, an article in the Chicago Tribune suggested that “in the year 2023, the problem of keeping the rain, the cold, and the wind out of our great cities will have been solved by using mammoth glass domes.”
While the prediction about giant glass domes did not come true, some attempts have been made to build enclosed cities or biodomes for scientific research and ecological purposes.
Many of the forecasts made by people in the 1920s were influenced by their hopes and anxieties for the future. Some people were enthusiastic about technology’s ability to fix the world’s problems, while others were concerned that technological advancement would lead to social and environmental degradation. With that said, looking back at these predictions can provide insights into the ambitions and anxieties of the previous era.