In the late 1800s and early 1900s, some French artists were commissioned to make postcards depicting what they thought life might be like in the year 2000. With the year 2000 now in the past, we can see just how close they got. For instance, this "Aero-Cab Station" really isn't too far removed from how an airport works.
The cards were made in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. However, the cards never wound up being distributed and were only discovered in 1986 by writer Isaac Asimov. They show some not-so-far-off predictions, like this house on wheels that's not too far from the modern RV.
The artists also thought the year 2000 would bring flying postal workers delivering your mail. When you look at the photo, the concept seems ridiculous. But then you remember that some companies offer drone delivery, so maybe this photo isn't so crazy after all.
The French artists even predicted that there would one day be a machine that cleans up all the dirt from your floor. Sure, the Roomba looks quite difference, but the net result is about the same. However, the device depicted in this drawing seems like it would be a lot more interesting.
While the postcards did come close on a few items, in other instances they were way off. For some reason, we have yet to see flying police officers pulling over airplanes in mid-flight. Perhaps we'll just have to wait until the year 3000.
An orchestra full of instruments that play themselves, is, sadly, something that never quite happened. Instead, we still have to use real people to play the music of an orchestra. Either that or just download some classical music into your smart phone and play it over the speakers.
In the future, instead of teaching people with words, all the lessons will be cranked directly into the students' brains. The French artists thought this prediction was perfectly reasonable. However, they still couldn't imagine a future where some of the students might be women.
One of the oddest aspects of the cards is the idea that people living in year 2000 would be living underwater. Many of the cards show people living in the ocean, while still carrying on with regular land activities.
Submarines existed well before these postcards were first printed. However, the artists thought the new underwater humans would forego submarines, and instead would strap a bus to a whale. How they would get the whale to drive them to the proper destination still remains a mystery.
And once these humans live underwater, they no longer need to use their fishing poles to catch fish. After all, the fish are simply floating all around them. So now they use their fishing poles to catch seagulls. You really can't fault this logic.
For some tasks, it makes sense to have them completed by a computerized machine. But when that task involves taking a sharpened razor and placing it near a person's throat, maybe a machine with flailing mechanical arms isn't the best idea.
A mechanical bathroom that does your hair, nails and makeup for you could actually be a great idea. However, this machine is still missing a key component. And that's the automatic camera that takes a selfie and distributes it to your friends for approval.
Okay, for this one, the artists were definitely way off. The year 2000 did not bring about kids in flying machines who would steal the eggs of eagles. Instead, kids would have to steal eagle eggs by climbing up trees by hand. But we can always dream, can't we?