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carole lombard 02

Backward, into the future!

Posted by vp19 on 2009.08.18 at 01:11
Current mood: relievedrelieved


Imagine a society where the typical American women stands at the stature of your typical WNBA player or supermodel, women to literally look up to. Well, according to this story in the Associated Press, this should have already taken place...back in the year 2000, when women were going to average between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2.

The AP story was actually a prediction, made all the way back in December 1949. The mid-century was approaching, and so it was appropriate for many to look a half-century hence and predict what life would be like in that far-off time. And while American women are slightly taller than their counterparts of 1950, they certainly haven't morphed into a legion of feminine giants (nor have they developed, on average, the size 11 feet this article predicted).

Welcome to past views of the future; some of the predictions are right on target, others, like this one, not so much. They are fascinating to examine, sometimes for their accuracy, other times for their ludicrousness. The above clipping is from a site called "Paleo-Future" (http://www.paleofuture.com/), which has all sorts of examples. Some will elicit a chuckle, others a knowing nod. (And speaking of nods, the subject title is a twist on "Forward, Into The Past," the title of a Firesign Theatre skit lampooning the excesses of old-time radio.)

During the 1930s, there were some concepts of the world of the future -- think of the Flash Gordon serials (with Charles Middleton in his memorable turn as Ming the Merciless). Another came in a Pathetone newsreel that imagined futuristic fashion in "Eve, A.D. 2,000!"



Here are two stills of what the narrator said are imaginings "from top designers" as to what women would be wearing in 2000:



Yeah, I'm sure this is how Travis Banton, Adrian and Irene viewed women's wear more than 60 years into the future. This seems about as accurate as the prediction that women of the millennium would be a group of towering amazons, futuristic Xenas.

But before you guys begin to chortle, here's what the designers envisioned you wearing:



Must be one of Ming's assistants.

Fortunately, we have the entire segment, featuring even more outlandish designs:



One wonders whether Carole Lombard ever imagined what life would be like in 2000. Perhaps she did, but if so, she probably never talked about it -- and she may not have envisioned seeing it for herself. After all, she would have been a few months past age 91 as the odometer of time changed all its digits and became 2000.

With that thought (and the 900th post at "Carole & Co."), I'm off to bed, and will sleep well as a Washington Nationals fan now that Stephen Strasburg, the top pick in the 2009 amateur draft, signed with the team at the deadline last night. Welcome to Washington. and we eagerly await to see Nationals Park become...


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