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How Artists in the Late 1800s Imagined Life in the Year 2000

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By Kristin Hohenadel

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Nov. 16 2015 12:11 PM
At the turn of the previous century, a group of French artists were asked to imagine the year 2000 by illustrating what kinds of scientific and everyday design inventions progress might bring the world 100 years into the future.
The result is a series of charmingly retrofuturistic illustrations called En L’An 2000 (literally, In the Year 2000, though sometimes loosely translated as Life in the 21st Century). First produced for Paris’ World Exhibition in 1900, they were printed as cigar box inserts, then as postcards between 1899 and 1910. But sadly they were never distributed, seemingly lost to the world until science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov discovered a set in the 1980s, publishing them in his 1986 work of nonfiction Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

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