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The Victorian vision of the future

The Rural Postman

The Victorian vision of the future

Here at Bassetlaw Museum, whilst looking for some remarkable facts to accompany our upcoming steampunk event on the 11th February, one of our museum officers stumbled across some interesting Victorian visions of the future.

The following are some cigarette cards produced between 1899 and 1910, predicting the world as it may look in the year 2000. There are 87 known images in the series, produced by a number of French artists, including Jean-Marc Cote.

As you will see, some of the predictions completely missed the mark and within all of them, they did not predict that fashion and architecture would change.

However, some of the ideas do share similarities to some 20th and 21st Century inventions, with themes focusing on mechanisation of industry, advances in transportation and labour saving domestic items.



Even if the Victorians did get it wrong sometimes, the cards show that they were looking to the future and thinking of ways to improve and innovate all aspects of life. We can now look upon this delightful set of images and maybe try to imagine what our world might be like in the year 3000!

By Annabelle Arnold, Resilience Syndicate Intern at Bassetlaw Museum

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