It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In 1900, an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins made a number of predictions about what the world would be like in 2000.
Digital color photography
Watkins did not, of course, use the word "digital"... but he accurately predicted how people would come to use new photographic technology.
"Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later.... photographs will reproduce all of nature's colors."
The rising height of Americans
"Americans will be taller by from one to two inches."
Watkins had unerring accuracy here, says Mr Nilsson - the average American man in 1900 was about 66-67ins (1.68-1.70m) tall and by 2000, the average was 69ins (1.75m).
"Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn."
International phone calls were unheard of in Watkins' day. It was another 15 years before the first call was made, by Alexander Bell, even from one coast of the US to the other. The idea of wireless telephony was truly revolutionary.
"Man will see around the world. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span."
Watkins foresaw cameras and screens linked by electric circuits, a vision practically realized in the 20th Century by live international television and latterly by webcams.
The Acela Express
"Trains will run two miles a minute normally. Express trains one hundred and fifty miles per hour."
Exactly 100 years after writing those words, to the very month, Amtrak's flagship high-speed rail line, the Acela Express, opened between Boston and Washington, DC. It reaches top speeds of 150mph, although the average speed is considerably less than that. High-speed rail in other parts of the world, even in 2000, was considerably faster.
Originally posted by Aqualung2012
reply to post by Jameela
Oh, by all means I appreciate your thoughts. I want to clarify that I dont believe he was psychic either. I would put him in the critical thinker/amazing forecaster "category."