Saturday, December 22, 2012

Horseless London

There is nothing quite so charming as people predicting the future in all earnestness from the data they have around them. This is probably why clips of the 1980s BBC programme Tomorrow's World on Youtube are such fun to watch. Its why I was stopped in my tracks the other day by a book called Computers in the Year 2000 - published in 1971. And this is why I love these illustrations from The London Magazine in 1908 which accompany a story titled 'Horseless London' by Harris Burland.

The caption for the one above reads "The broad thoroughfare was filled with moving vehicles as far as the eye could reach; and the swift rhythmical flow of the cars in perfectly straight lines had a dazing effect. The speed of the ones near the centre of the roadway was terrific"

The caption for the illustration below reads "They ran down to Dorsetshire after lunch, and returned in time for dinner. The motor moved as swiftly and easily as a bird. There was no dust, no overcrowding of the broad, clean track; no pedestrians or cyclists or dogs, or anything that might obstruct the path of the motorist." ...ah! happy days!

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