Armies of Santas: Future Christmas Predictions from 1909

christmas a hundred years from now

It’s a pretty common practice to make predictions about the future, especially near the end of the year. The Summit County Journal in Logansport, IN did just that a hundred years ago, and they came up with a bunch of predictions for what Christmas would be like in the year 2009. Many of them weren’t even close – we don’t travel everywhere by air or pneumatic tube, and our gifts aren’t delivered by a legion of flying Santas. But a few predictions came pretty close to our current reality.

christmas toys and airships

The article predicted that we’d do most of our shopping from home, which has very much come true. Of course, they predicted that we’d do it via telescopes and telephones, but we can forgive them for not foreseeing the actual mechanism. The article also predicted that, rather than attending plays at the local theatre, we’d kick back and be entertained at home. With streaming movies, video on demand, and DVRs in millions of homes, we’re enjoying that particular technological feat every day.

The “mechanical toys” given to kids are pretty similar to those predicted: life-size dogs and dolls that walk and talk like living things. We’re still waiting for the machine that whisks your holiday dishes away, also predicted in the Journal, but loading them into a dishwasher and pressing a button is a satisfactory compromise…for now.

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See more in Retrofuturistic or under Vintage & Retro. December, 2009.