It can’t be easy predicting what the world will be like ninety years in advance, especially when we’re talking about the twentieth century. The human race began exponentially advancing, especially in the latter half of the century and especially in the last two decades therein. However, he didn’t do too bad. Let’s check out what he predicted:

“In the 21st century, in order to control traffic jams in the air, there will be more and more flying policemen.”

Well, I guess he wasn’t wholly wrong here. I mean, there are traffic jams in the air and there is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and their counterparts elsewhere that controls traffic in the air, but it’s not of the variety the French artist, Villernard imagines.

“Firemen will be equipped with “bag wings” to be able to easily access top floors and roofs.”

About twenty-nine years later, Batman would be created Bob Kane and Bill Finger, but firemen wouldn’t have “bat wings.” Instead, they would use firetrucks with extendable ladders and other equipment to assist in fighting fires.

“Wars will be fought by “combat cars.”

He was right about this, but it came much sooner than he anticipated, as World War I would see the tank emerge. Modern wars still see such tanks, but the Humvee is more common.

“Schools will be equipped with audio books.”

Quite the astute prediction. He was basically right. Granted, as his picture depicts, you don’t have to feed books through a chute, which goes to the headphones of students in the classroom. But actually, that would be pretty neat.

“Horses will be so rare that people will pay to see them.”

Horses are rare. They aren’t our mode of transportation, as the predominantly were in his time and we do indeed pay to see them like in the Kentucky Derby.

“You’ll be able to send mail just by dictating it into a loudspeaker.”

One could interpret this in a number of ways, but I think the smartphone applies here. I don’t have one, so I wouldn’t know for sure, but I believe one can dictate verbally commands like texting, emailing and such.

“Heating with radium.”

Not when it was discovered the potentially adverse health risks posed by the chemical…

“Building devices will be equipped with automatic devices and machines.”

Yep, right on the money there.

“Makeup will be applied just by pressing a few buttons.”

Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, you still have to put that on manually.

“Electric train from Paris to Beijing.”

We’re probably technologically capable of such a feat, but with airplanes, there’s really no reason.

“Rescue plane.”

The caption is accompanied by a picture of a plane hovering over tumultuous ocean waves. Fitting depiction and caption for what would become the Coast Guard. While they were created as far back as 1790 in the United States, with the advent of the plane, they would be a valuable tool in maritime rescues.

“Airship. Literally.” 

We have boats that can skim across the water akin to a plane, but not quite an airship, literally.

“Motorized roller skates.”



Not exactly a spin-off of the telegraph, but pretty much.

“Police will use armored bicycles (motorcycles?) to chase down criminals.”

“Spy helicopters.”

Sure, but spy planes or drones are more practical.



It’s hard to predict what technology will enable five years from now, much less ninety years. I mean, what does the year 2103 hold for us? Well, I won’t be around unless some insane medical progress occurs, but then again, why not?


One thought on “The year 2000 according to a 1910 Frenchman

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