This is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago

By Attila Nagy on at

La Fin du Monde (The End of the World), is a 19th-century science-fiction novel about a comet colliding with the Earth, followed by several million years leading up to the gradual death of the planet. The book was written by French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion, first published in 1893, and adapted to movie in 1931.

The following original illustrations – engravings by several famous French artists – were scanned from the Hungarian edition (1897), and show us a very special future, imagined by the people living close to the turn of the twentieth century. You may find it surprising how many predictions come true.


The city of future: huge airship preparing for landing on a roof port. Lot of buildings have large rotating domes for observing the stars, streets are illuminated by electric lights.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Comet with devastating effects heading toward Earth.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Airships, winged aircraft fill the sky.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


A wireless message from Mars projected in front of a large group of scientists and politicians.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Busy scene of a rooftop airship port.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Means of travel: ships in the air and on water

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Large round screen for home entertainment. Control board is on the wall.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


We should all commute by air as of now.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Paris, the capital of France will became a megalopolis from Bordeaux to Narbonne. Note the several flappy winged airplanes in the smoke filled air, the huge river cruiser in the right bottom corner, the multilevel bride, and the monorail tracks.

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Romantic moment in a propeller driven, flappy winged aircraft

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago


Lonely airship above the ruins of the human civilisation

This Is How the Future Looked 122 Years Ago