The Future Imagined in Albert Robida’s “La vie électrique,” 1890
Who participated in the first video date? A good couple for candidacy in this regard are Georges Lorris and Estelle Lacombe, who meet via “téléphonoscope” in Albert Robida’s 1890 novel Le Vingtième siècle: la vie électrique in which he imagines “the electric life” of the future.
The old world’s dishonesty.
Adding a visual component to two recent technologies, the telephone (1876) and the phonograph (1877), this device lets scattered families in the year 1956 reunite around a virtual dinner table. For the lovebirds Lorris and Lacombe, the téléphonoscope facilitates their unapproved liaison in an immunologically fraught world. (And, for those without a beau, it also offers a service akin to on-demand streaming.)
The Sahara desert made into agricultural land after a climate overhaul.
This proto Zoom/Netflix hybrid is just one of several prescient predictions in Robida’s novel. Frictionless trains shoot through tubes, anticipating the Hyperloop, and doorknockers have been replaced with a “recording phonograph with photographic lens”, allowing residents to both screen visitors and take messages in the event of their absence: a smart doorbell before its time.
The Lauterbrunnen lighthouse.
The tubes (view from an aeronef at 700 meters).
Taking in the evening air.
From exam to exam.
A grand selection of ancestors . . . whose influence will dominate?
The engagement voyage.
The charge of the bicyclists.
Some models from the air fleet.
A torpedo ambush.
The examination for a doctorate in Military Science.
A busy neighbourhood.
The old and the new.
The physical decay of the overrefined.
Our rivers and atmosphere — the multiplication of various pathogens, microbes, and bacteria.
The sophisticated, poisonous chemistry.
The dream of M. Arséne des Marettes.
The miasmatic war.
A national park.
Leave Your Comment Below
More Inspiring Stories
- Grotesque, Occult, and Bizarre Images by William Mortensen, the Forgotten Hollywood Photographer
- This South Korean Artist’s Structural Drawings Will Help You Improve Your Drawing Skills
- This Artist Shows What Everything Would Look Like If It Had A Cat’s Face
- Artist Hides Clever And Funny Signs Around His City For People To Find
- Cock And Balls: A Photo Study Of Rock Gods’ Packages In Very Tight Trousers
- Breathtaking Winning Images of The 2021 Drone Photo Awards
- Dreamy Photographs Of Young Women Taken By David Hamilton From The 1970s
- Stunning Vintage Black-and-White Photos of Edwin Smith
- Sexy Pictures Of ABBA’s Agnetha Faltskog Posed For Sweden’s Poster Magazine In 1976
- Fascinating Winning Photos Of the 2021 Siena International Photo Awards