The great American baseball player and coach Yogi Berra once famously said “The future ain’t what it used to be”. While on the surface this saying – as many other things Berra purportedly said – seems downright harebrained, it does have a deep philosophical core. It also certainly applies to a series of postcards from the first decade of the 20th century depicting Transylvanian cities in the future.
These science-fiction inspired postcards were in great vogue all over Europe at the time and with a little judicious googling you can find one showing the future of most major cities of the continent. Admittedly, the images aren’t that varied: most of them are based on actual black-and-white photos, are hand-coloured with futuristic modes of transportation drawn over the cityscape. Predictably, they show dirigibles, biplanes, suspended railways and the occasional imaginary car.
In our never-ending quest to keep you, the reader both informed and entertained, we have trawled the net and found the following ones. If you are inclined to take part in a small game, we invite you to send contemporary pictures of the same locations to the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Facebook page. If we get enough responses, we will follow up this article with one showing the imagined and actual future side by side.
Title image: Temesvár/Timișoara in the future.