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What the future looked like way back when

By: Laura Moss on May 7, 2012, 1:22 p.m.
futuristic office

Photo: 1969 futuristic office with typewriter, video recorder and photocopier (Keystone-France/ Getty Images)

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In 1969, the 21st-century office was expected to look something like this, providing the average office worker with a typewriter, video recorder and photocopier. However, other futurists predicted a much more technologically advanced office, with workers making calls on their “TV phones” and using tablet computers with "infrared flashlight" writing utensils.

The average workday would be just four hours, according to Mechanix Illustrated, but that doesn’t mean we’d have free time to visit our friends in other domed cities. Our ancestors thought we’d need that extra time to keep up with the world's rapid technological advances. Jobholders were expected to rent tapes from libraries after work and bring them home to watch on TV as part of necessary ongoing education programs.

How are you paid in this futuristic society? According to Mechanix Illustrated, “Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.” I’d say they got this one right.