Here’s what artists in 1926 thought the London commute would look like in the future

We only laugh at the past because we have the privilege of hindsight. It’s amazing to think that 100 years ago, people like us were envisaging what the future would be like and we can witness the evidence of their visions.

In the same way the young people of 2115 will scoff at our science-fiction novels and movies, we find the scribblings of past generations beyond amusing. As a matter of fact, a recent piece of art from 1926 has been commissioned by Streets Ahead to be displayed showing what the people of London thought our daily commutes would like 90 years ago.

The picture depicts a towering skyline of London with an architecture that represented the time filled with aircrafts and blimps as far as the eye can see. Obviously the artist had very little faith in the “solid comfort” of the underground system that was in operation at the time.


Image credit: Streets Ahead, curated by New London Architecture and supported by Transport for London

The Guardian points out the poster’s optimism and compares the high-flying scenes of this painting to the other rendered predictions of London’s future which prophesied far more dismal and dystopian scenes.

This being said, we still have another 10 years before this painting can be compared authentically to reality. We have no idea what will happen – the sky might turn yellow and blimps might come back in a big way, who are we to predict the future?

What now?