2023 predictions from 1923 said short days, living to 300 and smartwatches

People in 1923 predicted that 100 years on people would barely have to work, women would blacken their teeth and cars would be powered by radio.

In a Twitter thread compiled by Paul Fairie, he pulled together old newspaper clippings from 100 years ago to see how accurate the predictions of a past generation were – and they got a fair bit right.

With a wonderful mix of hits and misses, everything was predicted from fashion trends to technology to the way the working day looks.

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Slightly off the money was a prediction that “all people will be beautiful” and “beauty contests will be unnecessary because there will be so many beautiful people”.

Another clipping predicted that the average life expectancy would be 100 years old – a second one predicted we would all live to 300.

In a slightly alternative health prediction, it was thought people would wear ‘kidney cosies’ that would see people cover the organs “just the same as a teapot in the north is kept warm by a ‘tea cosy.’”

Over to the world of fashion where one clipping predicted that men would curl their hair – not entirely untrue given the rise of the male perm.

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The prediction came from an anthropologist, with the text reading: “Bases his statement on trend on masculine and feminine styles.”

Another predicted that more women would shave their heads, a claim that has come to pass, although its accompanying prediction of tooth blackening is less successful – unless you include charcoal toothpaste.

In the world of work, leisure was predicted to rule, with the four-hour day becoming the norm by 2023.

As we all know this sadly isn’t the case and Dr Charles PStein- Metz’s hopes remain a long way off.

Over to the world of technology where again the hits and misses come in equal measure.

On the more fanciful side is the claim that cars would run on radio, not petrol – the clipping reads that Glenn Curtis, the “airplane authority” reckoned that “gasoline as a motive power will have been replaced by radio, and that the skies will be filled with myriad craft sailing over well-defined routes.”

More on the money though, and another clipping successfully predicted the rise of the smartwatch.

The clipping said: “watch-size radio telephones will keep everybody in communication with the ends of the Earth.”

Elsewhere, predictions about the USA having a population of 300million (under, but close at 330million) and Canada having 100million (over, it’s actually just 38million) were also made.

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