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Entries in bridgeport telegram (9)

Monday
Jun252007

Pictures Stately Edifices (1923)

As promised, we have the first in a long list of predictions found in the February 12, 1923 Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut).

Today's excerpt is from architect Thomas Hastings. It's particularly unsettling to read someone from the 1920s writing about the possibility of another World War. I get such a feeling of detachment, as though watching a movie playing out through history.

Architecture expresses the life of each period. Will life a hundred years hence be freer, cleaner, saner? Inevitably the architecture of 2022 will register that. Will civilization relapse perhaps through the medium of another world war, into semi-barbarism? Then barbaric will be the architecture of that time.

There is this much to be said: Steel construction frees architectural design from limitations which masonry necessarily imposed. Thus far the result has been confusion - the one and only real confusion that has ever occurred in a continuous historic succession of architectural developments. But that is because present day architecture steers a wavering course between the Scylla and Charybdis of all modern art; on the one hand, too much archaeology or selection from the past, and on the other hand, too much sterile realism.

Granted a broadened intellectual horizon (and the probability of revolutionizing inventions - even the discovery of forces which we know nothing about now.) the architects of 2022, we can imagine, will be busying themselves with edifices of a statelines and power such as we have only dreamed of hitherto.

See also:
Thinking Men and Women Predict Problems of World Century Hence (1923)
Prelude to a Great Depression (The Chronicle Telegram, 1929)
Part-Time Robot (1923)

Thursday
Jun142007

Thinking Men and Women Predict Problems of World Century Hence (1923)

The February 12, 1923 Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut) ran an interesting piece looking at the world of 2022.

The article contains contributions from movie producers, architects, teachers, engineers, Margaret Sanger and the head of the NAACP. The introduction is below. Stay tuned as we explore each piece of the article in the coming weeks.

In these piping days of peace, when the face of the world changes as unceasingly as the view from a fast train, to avoid dizziness the eyes must occasionally be directed to that far horizon which moves only slightly - the future. And speculation, now and then, as to what lies beyond that horizon is also helpful in warding off a feeling of bewilderment. Hence this symposium.

"A Hundred Years From Now - What?" was the main question asked by the New York World of the men and women whose contributions appear below: then there were questions dealing with their special work and interests. The result, as these responses show, is a pretty consistently optimistic appraisal of the year 2022 by people who have a wide experience and many points of contact with 1922. There's a good time coming they agree, most of them. The problems that beset us, the strife and jar of normalcy, will all be banished and forgotten, and the world will be a much better place - for our great-great-grandchildren to live in.

Here and there are qualification general the prospect for a century hence seems rosy.

Omissions may be noted. No captain of industry peers ahead through the mist and cries "Land ho!" For the most part, the actual manipulators of affairs, when approached on the subject replied that they were neither prophets nor yet the sons of prophets. It is natural, of course, that a man who is striving with might and main to keep things as they are, or at least to keep them from becoming too different, should find himself staring to see a hundred years ahead. That is how it happens that the majority of contributions are by men and women of a reform, liberal or progressive turn of mind.

See also:
Prelude to a Great Depression (The Chronicle Telegram, 1929)
Part-Time Robot (1923)

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