It’s crazy to think both how short and infinitely long a century is. You see, Motorola’s DynaTAC, the first cell phone, was launched in 1984 for a price of $3,995. And today, nobody can imagine their life without touch-screen mobiles with integrated Leica cameras and AI face recognition systems that come at much less than Motorola’s initial price.

So imagine how differently people back then perceived the advancements in technology that looked both incredible and life-changing. And they were. But technology, and the world we live in, escalates so quickly that it surpasses our best forecasts for what the future holds.

And this time, we are talking a look at retro-futuristic examples created in the previous century that give us a glimpse into weird and wonderful dreams of the human mind.

#1

An Artists Depiction Of The Future, Painted In 1930

An Artists Depiction Of The Future, Painted In 1930

kt0me Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
3 months ago

Spot on!

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#2

A Fifties Navigation System. Don't Know Who Imagined This But I Love It!

A Fifties Navigation System. Don't Know Who Imagined This But I Love It!

GiantNormalDwarf Report

Eduard Korhonen
Community Member
3 months ago

Actually, it's a ln image someone created in 2013 https://www.designcrowd.com/design/8798738

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To find out more about the weird and wonderful retrofuturism movement, Bored Panda reached out to Lisa Yaszek, a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lisa explained that when we talk about retrofuturist objects and images, we usually refer to images of the past from the late 1800s through the space race, like many of the images collected here. “And when we look at these images, it becomes clear that people from the past actually had expectations of the future that were often quite like our own!”

#3

1940s Vision Of Food Delivery Future

1940s Vision Of Food Delivery Future

abdouhlili Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

This is actually cool. when you order something, as the truck moves to your house, they are also preparing the food. It gets to you as soon as it's plated. AMAZING

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According to Lisa, “they seem to have been particularly good at extrapolating from all the exciting new communications technologies of the time—telephones, radios, film, and TV—to imagine a range of new communications technologies much like we have now that allow us to talk to anyone from anywhere (#1 and 11), navigate our cars with ease (#2), get breaking news on our screens (#5), and even shop from home (#18 is shockingly on the mark).”

#4

We Really Messed Up

We Really Messed Up

The_qp_god Report

RadiatorAnkleSpider
Community Member
3 months ago

Dude, this would be awesome.

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#5

Television Newspaper - Some Day You May Be Able To Receive The Front Page Of Your Morning Newspaper This Way

Television Newspaper - Some Day You May Be Able To Receive The Front Page Of Your Morning Newspaper This Way

dabderax Report

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
3 months ago

Why are you sitting so close to the TV ancient people? :O

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#6

Self Driving Cars Of The Future, Circa 1960

Self Driving Cars Of The Future, Circa 1960

abt137 Report

Norma
Community Member
3 months ago

Even if this were 100% proven safe, it scares the crap out of me!!

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Moreover, “People of the past were also quite good at anticipating how our clothing and personal presentation might change! Image #1 presents us with the kind of brightly colored, streamlined, unisex uniform first imagined by avant-garde artists and then made popular by science fiction filmmakers in the opening decades of the twentieth century and that are still very much with us today.”

As for image #16, Lisa sees it as an exciting representation of future fashion. “The two models here appear to be wearing then-contemporary undergarments, but other aspects of their styles are very modern! The artist certainly guessed correctly that in the future, we would wear less clothing in public, indulge in more body ornamentation (the man’s tattoos look a lot like the tribal body art that became popular with the Modern Primitive movement in the 1990s), and that gender roles might be less clearly defined.”

#7

2022

2022

NathanHacham Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

well with covid we are well on our way to doing just that

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#8

'ship's Cat' By Keith Spangle

'ship's Cat' By Keith Spangle

jaykirsch Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

cats of the future

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#9

The Future Of Phones, 1956

The Future Of Phones, 1956

Known_Marzipan_2629 Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
3 months ago

Not even in the imagined picture is it possible to hold the phone comfortably.

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Having said that, the people of the past were not always very accurate with their predictions about the use of big science and big engineering, said Lisa. “Images #15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, and 30 are particularly good examples of the utopian dream that someone—possibly the state, possibly a benevolent corporation—will engage in big, public engineering projects that will allow us to live well in the potentially hostile environments we might encounter in the future.”

#10

1970s Futuristic Concept For Jetliner Air Travel

1970s Futuristic Concept For Jetliner Air Travel

bignjbagel Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
3 months ago

Imagine turbulence with that pool.

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#11

James Bond Receives A "Text" Via His Smartwatch In The Spy Who Loved Me

James Bond Receives A "Text" Via His Smartwatch In The Spy Who Loved Me

malakeos Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

But where would he keep the roll of tape the message is stamped onto?

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#12

1969 Japanese Vision Of The Future Classroom, The Odd Part Is That Included Small Robots To Rap Students On The Head When Misbehaving

1969 Japanese Vision Of The Future Classroom, The Odd Part Is That Included Small Robots To Rap Students On The Head When Misbehaving

abt137 Report

Farid Red
Community Member
3 months ago

Its not for misbehaving, its for punishment for getting wrong answer. Compare each student screen. Cruel.

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According to the professor, people also had surprisingly different ideas about transportation than we do now. “I get the sense that the women in image #1 have flown their personal airplanes to the restaurant for a quick drink, and I love the idea that we might create maglevs for mass transit and then use balloons and mechanized glass domes for personal travel (#4, 7). People were right to guess that we’d have automated cars (#6, 17), but they clearly didn’t anticipate that such cars would be used mostly for corporate purposes.”

“Finally, as a university professor, I am desperately sad that we have not developed robots to rap students on the head when they are misbehaving as in image #10. Someone needs to start working on that immediately,” the professor commented.

#13

VR In 1989

VR In 1989

ashe101ashe Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Someone keeps saying jesus is lord... I grew up in a christian household but we never forced it down other people's throats. It is annoying

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#14

Artoo Deco

Artoo Deco

firstorbit Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

Star Wars inspiration

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#15

How Nasa Imagined Life In Space

How Nasa Imagined Life In Space

Rick Guidice Report

Milan Culik
Community Member
3 months ago

So that is where Elysium movie got their inspiration!

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The professor of science fiction studies also noted that it’s important to remember that these futures were not retro to the people who imagined them. “They were modern imaginings of the future, inspired by the cutting-edge sciences and avant-garde arts of the time.”

From the retrofuturist images that were generated between the 1880s and 1960s, “we get a great sense of the sciences and technologies that were most important to people of the past, including new modes of mass and personal transportation, new communication technologies, and new habitats for new forms of living (garden mega-cities and artificial ringworlds),” Lisa explained.

#16

Fashions Of 1950, As Predicted On The Cover Of Life Magazine In 1914

Fashions Of 1950, As Predicted On The Cover Of Life Magazine In 1914

fiizok Report

Meike H
Community Member
3 months ago

Is a couple of decades off, but I could see them at burning man

lemsip
Community Member
3 months ago

Yes more like the 90's and 00's. A lot of skimpy fashions showing a lot of skin back then even outside in winter. It's now gone full circle to the baggy clothes of the early 90's.

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Vic
Community Member
3 months ago

Those are some rad tattoos..

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
3 months ago

Her little outfit is cute, though. But why is dude wearing a diaper and carrying a cane?

person (i think)
Community Member
3 months ago

Why any of it? Because, “Why not?”

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DKS 001
Community Member
3 months ago

KATIE POTASKY - STFU!

Samtheperson
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah. I’m an atheist. Katie, get out of my life

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Hannah Edwards
Community Member
3 months ago

Why would people walk about in just pants and an (admittedly fabulous) hat? Did they think there was no weather in 1950?

Botox
Community Member
3 months ago

Global warming? ))

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cybermerlin2000
Community Member
3 months ago

That's fairly accurate

Maciej Zajaczkowski
Community Member
3 months ago

Just like we predict that ripped jeans will be ripped to the point of non existence

Norma
Community Member
3 months ago

hahah not so far from the truth!

LJ Robinson
Community Member
3 months ago

IKR?!?

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LJ Robinson
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like a typical day at Comic-Con

Thomas Duncan
Community Member
3 months ago

actually closer than many think...Haight-Ashbury, mid-sixties...

Gustavo Di Salvo
Community Member
3 months ago

Weren't the 1950's people funny?

Janoel Murrey
Community Member
3 months ago

KATIE DUCKING SHUT UP SHUT THE DUCITY DUCK DUCK DUCK UP DUCK YOU

Amazon QT
Community Member
3 months ago

Don’t you mean FŪCK!!!

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Strahd Ivarius
Community Member
3 months ago

Anticipating global warming ?

Marvin HeartofGold
Community Member
3 months ago

♥️ your name

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Bored_weeb
Community Member
3 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Jozef Becker
Community Member
3 months ago

Folsom Street Festival in San Francisco.

Jean Thompson
Community Member
3 months ago

This is quite "far out" for 1914 and well imagined. This couple could almost pass as modern, apart from the gent's hat and walking stick - and the girl would have tattoos too!

ingrid (they/them)
Community Member
3 months ago

who else thought his tattoos were froot loops at first

Holly Allen
Community Member
3 months ago

Wife "Time to get groceries." Husband "I need to change into my speedo."

tmw
Community Member
3 months ago

this must have been absolutely scandalous when it came out in 1914. akin to pornography for the time. I wonder if it really was the cover of life. or if life (once a respected name) was resorting to the 'click bait' of its era?

Mickipickie
Community Member
3 months ago

Lol, burning man

Jona Thiessen
Community Member
3 months ago

Okay- I'll bite....what did "Katie" say that was worthy of so much anger, and why do you care?

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 months ago

She has been bombing every entry with "Jesus is LORD Jesus bless you he saved my life and soul". And after a while, y'know, it's like having the same two missionaries of whatever faith keep knocking on your door when you've said, "I'm not interest, thank you," every day for a week. My guess, anyway.

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2WheelTravlr
Community Member
3 months ago

This makes some sense if you look at where fashion was headed in 1914, after WWI things went a bit wild with women's hemlines going where none had gone before, and things may have continued to evolve in crazy ways if the market crash and WWII hadn't come along to ruin the party.

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
3 months ago

The market crash was because of Germany floundering from the sheer amount of money it owed for a war it didn't even start.

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Emperor Kitten
Community Member
3 months ago

If they're said 1965 they wouldn't been too far off

Thorfin Wolfsbane
Community Member
3 months ago

We really got to make loin clothes with canes fashionable people! And plumed hats!

Violet Smith
Community Member
3 months ago

katie-bot go away

WhatEvenIsLife
Community Member
3 months ago

I really, really wish this were true.

King Joffrey
Community Member
3 months ago

Shame that didn't came to be...

Emilycookie
Community Member
2 months ago

i mean we do seem to wear less and less clothing as time progresses...

PeggyWestmoreland
Community Member
2 months ago

More like to 1970s, still pretty close prediction on this one.

Beau Chevassus
Community Member
2 months ago

Pretty sure I saw these exact outfits on Capitol Hill (Seattle) last week.

fu yu
Community Member
3 months ago

his ass tho

Jane W.
Community Member
3 months ago

I can't decide---is this accurate or inaccurate for today?

Ruth Beaty
Community Member
3 months ago

Not far wrong though.

El Dee
Community Member
3 months ago

Got it right with the tattoos and for her fashion sense for any time after the 60s. Still not seen anyone dressing like him tho..

Forrest McCanless
Community Member
3 months ago

Got the tattooing right!

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 months ago

. Pretty much spring break in Miami Beach, if you ditch the hats and hairdo.

Persp Gold
Community Member
3 months ago

not sure if this was a prediction or a cartoon, caption suggests latter

Dolly Abson
Community Member
3 months ago

Everyone belonged to Cirque du Soleil?

Sara Mccracken
Community Member
3 months ago

Well I would never have imagined that tattoos would get a come back after men were so ashamed of them in the 50's and 60's.

Angela
Community Member
3 months ago

Very strange.

Azziza
Community Member
3 months ago

Not a bad guess, just a decade and a half off. LOL

Linda Robinett
Community Member
3 months ago

Fashions of 1960

R. Lynx
Community Member
3 months ago

In a strip bar maybe.

Laurie Ostergaard-Overbey
Community Member
3 months ago

dressing for climate change....

tiger lily
Community Member
3 months ago

Is the lady in the painting showing that man her umm flower?

CRINGY animations
Community Member
3 months ago

“Werent they funny?”

Mishte Tine
Community Member
3 months ago

Wonderful

The_tattered_hippie
Community Member
3 months ago

I wish 🤣

LR K
Community Member
3 months ago

Pretty wrong

Jon S.
Community Member
3 months ago

I'm loving this classical revival look. Ancient Europe reimagined for the modern American

Hilary Mol
Community Member
3 months ago

Wait. So in the future there's a material shortage crisis and women are reduced to wearing lingerie with huge butt-bows while men are given a more tailored version of a man diaper to wear (which uses even less material than his Fedora-Pirate-Roman Soldier hat), enhancing body paint that his three year old painted on him while he was taking a nap? That's a lot of work to wear so much less!

Devon
Community Member
3 months ago

I kinda wish that happened maybe all the sexist bullshit wouldn't be so bad

Don't Look
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow they look amazing

Deceased Nemo
Community Member
3 months ago

I mean, not tooo far off we do show a lot more skin nowadays

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
3 months ago

Ok, now I want to wear that <3

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
3 months ago

The current population would be much higher had these "fashions" become the norm.

jasper
Community Member
3 months ago

Umm...

fu yu
Community Member
3 months ago

Hus ass tho!

Hunglike Jesus
Community Member
3 months ago

Burning Man.

Vicki Perizzolo
Community Member
3 months ago

survivor series...

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#17

1981 Vision Of Suburbia After There's No More Room Left For Suburbs

1981 Vision Of Suburbia After There's No More Room Left For Suburbs

c3534l Report

Elaine Verhagen
Community Member
3 months ago

I love the fact that everyone still has a garden and freestanding house instead of a balcony with no space.

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#18

Home Shopping In The 1940s

Home Shopping In The 1940s

earthmoonsun Report

Hans
Community Member
3 months ago

"Yep, that looks like I don't need it."

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See Also on Bored Panda

Lisa added that “people were inspired by the rise of modern cities and modern factories to imagine that we would enjoy many large, state- or corporate-sponsored public works projects—and that those projects would combine the best of the natural and technological worlds,” and added: “They are wholeheartedly utopian!”

#19

Futuristic Road Trip With The Family (Bruce Mccall)

Futuristic Road Trip With The Family (Bruce Mccall)

earthmoonsun Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
3 months ago

All else aside, is a pizza oven in the car too much to ask for?

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#20

City Of The Future As Imagined In 1908

City Of The Future As Imagined In 1908

PapaP123 Report

Nea
Community Member
3 months ago

A very Hollywoodish imagination

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#21

The Future We Were Promised

The Future We Were Promised

PapaP123 Report

Rose the Cook
Community Member
3 months ago

The Hover Car.

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Meanwhile, Lina Survila, a global tech PR and chief editor at Abstract Stylist, also told Bored Panda that “artists had the perfect vision, and it seems they were very close to the ideas we see today.”

Moreover, “Retro futurist aesthetics have touched every possible art form there is. Fashion is no exception. When we think of futurism in fashion and a bright vision of what the future might be, we think of Paco Rabanne. The Spanish fashion designer was active in the '60s and totally disrupted the fashion scene with retrofuturistic designs and his ideas of how people would dress in the future (most likely, that future is now).”

#22

Soviet Vision Of The Future In The 1930s

Soviet Vision Of The Future In The 1930s

TarOfficial Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
3 months ago

No, I wont say it... Don't you try forcing me to say it!

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#23

Futuristic Netherlands, Drawn In 1970

Futuristic Netherlands, Drawn In 1970

molnix Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
3 months ago

Clever use of land.

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#24

1984 Smart Watch

1984 Smart Watch

wooly_mastodon Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

what a pain to put on

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Retro ideas of how the future would look inspired many creators, artists, and thinkers, “from architect and designer Matti Suuronen (Futuro house created in the 1970s) to writer Isaac Asimov's book The Naked Sun.” Lina added that The Jetsons with their retrofuturistic flying cars also deserve a big shout-out in popularizing the movement’s aesthetics in popular culture.

#25

The 2020 Olympics...not 100% Accurate

The 2020 Olympics...not 100% Accurate

last_of_the_V8s Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

If only

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#26

Monsanto House Of The Future 1957

Monsanto House Of The Future 1957

graemebo Report

N G
Community Member
3 months ago

Now I know where some of the Grand Designs lot got their inspiration. Anyone else looking for Kevin McCloud in this pic?

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#27

Worst Space Suit Design Ever?

Worst Space Suit Design Ever?

captainmagictrousers Report

Annamagelic
Community Member
3 months ago

One thing I appreciate about this is both individuals are equally underdressed. Too often female characters get a bikini while male characters get practical coverage. But this guy forgot his pants too.

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#28

This Was An Actual Space Suit Grumman Aircraft Corp Tried To Sell Nasa In 1962

This Was An Actual Space Suit Grumman Aircraft Corp Tried To Sell Nasa In 1962

Novusod Report

River Webb
Community Member
3 months ago

it looks like a salt shaker grew arms and legs

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See Also on Bored Panda
#29

Teen-Agers Of The 21st Century

Teen-Agers Of The 21st Century

joelschlosberg Report

N G
Community Member
3 months ago

Ah, teen-speak. Incomprehensible to the over 40s in the past, present and future!

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#30

Nuke-Proof Underground City Below Manhattan, 1969 (Oscar Newman)

Nuke-Proof Underground City Below Manhattan, 1969 (Oscar Newman)

earthmoonsun Report

Mr Red
Community Member
3 months ago

Or we could get rid of all nukes...

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Note: this post originally had 49 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.