A 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000

A series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000. As is so often the case their predictions fell some way off the mark, failing to go far enough in thinking outside the confines of their current technological milieu (hence the ubiquity of propellors, not to mention the distinctly 19th-century dress).

There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Due to financial difficulties the cards by Jean-Marc Côté were never actually distributed and only came to light many years later after the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov chanced upon a set and published them in 1986, with accompanying commentary, in the book Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

  • I really like the ambitious thinking and innocence of the artist… specially, alot of things being done underwater or in the air… looking at the real estate prices, space crunch and global traffic situation… it’s so very apt!

  • Great post! is really impressive view this pictures :O

  • Teleny Parrish

    It’s easy to laugh. And just as easy to marvel: mechanized warfare, campers, the Roomba, aerial warfare, scuba, the synthesizer, it’s all there. Just….with real physics. And I’m afraid war didn’t turn out to be so…jolly.

  • I think some of them actually exists 🙂

  • cory

    think he thought we would be living underwater by now

  • Robbo

    If only 2000 was that freakin awesome!

  • Ian David Dudsak

    Whale bus ftw!

    • LarryNC

      Ian David Dudsak, Quote: “Whale bus ftw!” Yes, that one got me, too. And then I thought of our large submarines.

  • CyberSkull

    The future is never as cool as the marketing.

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  • Dynamite T

    He imagined 2000 would look like a steampunk-esque world which is cool.

  • Thank you for putting this together. A modern, wildest of futuristic views is disclosed by Jacques Cousteau, in his book The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus:

  • Richie McKenzie


  • Mr. Kandy

    The artist just improved stuff they already had, and did the artist also think we would keep wearing the same clothing styles for 100 years, lmao!

    • Mr. Kandy

      And most of this stuff was invented 50 years ago, lol

  • Mysterios

    Some of them are, at least from the concept, not that wrong. Look at the eagle-robbers. Just a little imagination and you see the wingsuits from basejumpers. Also the ability of a single man to farm complete fields are, even when not in the form seen here, possible today. The fighting cars and plans are, just a little bit more aerodanemic and safer, in use, the same as luxus campers.

    • Mars

      The flying-cabs are taking place soon. Really a great post/article. And sweet illustrations.

  • Butros Ghali

    da da da da da, BATCOP!!!

  • Waldemar Araujo

    Muito interessante!

  • We should put more nature inspiration in to newest technologies;)

  • Alf1


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  • mick

    I want to know the update of some Best lgg5 cases..

  • Edward van Vliet

    does anyone know what size these were?

    • BrianH

      Cigarette cards are roughly 2 by 3 inches. Postcards from that era were 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches.

  • Matheus Alexandre

    Bom, ainda conseguiram profetizar algumas coisas, entretanto grande parte que imaginavam era idiotice;

  • Bogdan Andrei