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From the 1880s come these 12 cards, which were pre-printed giveaways for companies and were probably originally drawn in Germany.

NOTE: These cards must have been produced later than I initially thought. The 12th card mentions Roentgen rays, and Wilhelm Röntgen didn’t begin his experiments with what we now call X-rays until 1895. So these cards must date a few years after that.

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The resolution for these isn’t great, but they’re readable and provide a fun idea of what people expected life might be like in the year 2000!

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Here’s some info I found on the Web concerning these:

Near the end of the 1800s, America was in the midst of a second industrial revolution and optimistic about where their technology would lead them. So much so, that as the turn of the century approached, it became popular to make predictions about the year 2000, one hundred years hence.


The trade cards shown are a set of 12 stock cards that predict what things will be like in the year 2000. This set was most likely produced at the Kuntsdruck-Friedberg printing plant in Berlin, Germany, and is found in both American and European versions. The images are identical for both versions, but the American cards are in English and have wider and more decorative borders. The European cards were imprinted for chocolate companies in Germany and Belgium, and the English language cards were imprinted for at least 14 different American companies. [These two paragraphs are based on the article “One Hundred Years Hence” by Richard Sheaff appearing in the Winter, 1999, issue of “The Advertising Trade Card Quarterly” published by The Trade Card Collector’s Association].

 

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Took me a few seconds to realize this was a policeman spying on a couple of crooks.