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Monday
May072007

In the Twentieth Century (Newark Daily Advocate, 1901)

The piece below ran on the first page of the January 1, 1901 Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio).

The second to last sentence beautifully expresses humanity's fascination with futurism: Now, candidly, wouldn't you like to know what sayers will be saying, thinkers thinking, writers writing, doers doing and plotters plotting at the end of the next hundred years?

Will lovely woman do the proposing?
Will woman bosses run [politics?] as they now run the home?
Will the housemaid be a houseman?
Will horses be exhibited as curiosities?
Will politics be run on a philanthropic basis?
Will the Boston woman discover the north pole?
Will airships be provided for messenger boys?
Will men wear frilled shirt waists and women trousers?
Will the [unreadable] Mrs. Grundy be driven into a convent?
Will the college girl carry a cane and smoke a pipe?
Will there be free lunch stands for women?
Will men go to church evenings instead of to the club?
Will the wife kiss her husband goodby before starting off to business?
Will squirrels want just a quarter of a second longer to make faces at the hunter?
Will rich noblemen marry poor American girls?
Will hornets and other stinging things arbitrate instead of fight when their nests are pulled?
Will the grain be extracted from the head of wheat and other cereals by a magnet and save the labor of harvesting straw?
Will there be a law compelling [unreadable] remain silent?
Will cows come home at milking time as eagerly as field hands come to supper?
And will those same cows semioccasionally turn grass into butter instead of milk?
Will there be any escape from the [coon?] song save suicide?
Will every busy man wear an illuminated collar button?
Will mind reading [unreadable] a key to the intentions of hens as to their duties and villainies?
Will the automatic principle be adjusted to taxes so that they pay themselves?
Will there be a society for the extermination of noisy milkmen which will really [unreadable]?
Will pounds be pounds and quarts be quarts in weight as well in price?
Will women be compelled to flatten their pompadours at the theater so that men may see the play?
Will all consumers of [unreadable] have the common sense to lay in their winter stock in midsummer at any sacrifice?
Will the creatures that build guano mountains at the equator occasionally fly over the impoverished farms of North America?
Will our beloved country still be going to the "demnition bowwows" and political orators howling for votes to save it?
Now, candidly, wouldn't you like to know what sayers will be saying, thinkers thinking, writers writing, doers doing and plotters plotting at the end of the next hundred years?
Will the century be ten years [unreadable] . . . library?


We have seen the year 2001, but it is unlikely many of us will get to see 2101. Enjoy it while it lasts, and don't forget to buy that cute guy or gal a drink on your way out.

See also:
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Collier's Illustrated Future of 2001 (1901)
Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (Milwaukee Excelsior, 1901)
The Next Hundred Years (Milwaukee Herold und Seebote, 1901)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)

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Reader Comments (8)

I've looked at the image and I think I've picked up some of the illegible words:
Will the [estimable] Mrs. Grundy be driven into a convent?
Will mind reading [furnish] a key to the intentions of hens as to their duties and villainies?
Will there be a society for the extermination of noisy milkmen which will really [exterminate]?
Will all consumers of [anthracite (coal)] have the common sense to lay in their winter stock in midsummer at any sacrifice?
And the last one is quite obvio

May 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I think I can almost read some of the others..."Will there be a law compelling [unreadable] to remain silent?" -- the unreadable word could be bankers, barkers or barbers, perhaps?
I'm pretty sure that is 'coon' and probably refers to black music. Fairly disgusting by today's standards.

May 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAutumn

I think it says 'a law compelling [barmen] to remain silent'

That makes no sense to me either. But [barmen] may have had a meaning we have lost.

barbers or barkers were good suggestions also. Dogs barking at night was an urban plague in those days.

May 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I noticed you left out the gem, "Will men wear birds on their hats and crochet?"

May 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAaron T.

A barman would be a bartender.

I like how a good portion of these are true, especially about women going to work and wearing mens clothes.

May 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

In the terminology of the time I think "coon songs" meant minstrel-show songs stereotypically mocking black people, not actual black music (though actually it's more complicated than that--some of the songs were ultimately derived from actual black music, and weirdly enough, some of the most popular minstrel performers were black people wearing blackface).

Not a chapter in history we can be proud of, all around.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

"Barkers". Barker is a person in front of a side show, theater, store, etc. who tries to attract customers by loud, animated talking.

September 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Also missing-
Will women either wear short skirts or have pages to carry their trains?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

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