April 8, 2016 Dick Sheaff
As the nineteenth century drew to close, it became popular to predict in print what life might possibly be like in the future. The well-known and rather scarce "One Hundred Years Hence" set of 12 futuristic scenes (with different language versions in England, the United States, Germany, Italy and France) predicted many things, some of which have come to pass. An E.T. Paull fin de siecle sheet music cover marveled at all the technological progress to date. An 1885 issue of the Chicago Herald was datelined ahead to September 26, 1985, and offered fanciful futuristic headlines and stories. Similarly, an issue of the Denver Times taking a similar approach was datelined December 31, 1995. Various trade cards had a futuristic motif. The Swiss chocolate and cocoa company issued its own set of 12 hundred years hence cards and scenes. A French set offered 78 cards. (All these and more were described in some detail in my article, "One Hundred Years Hence," in the Winter 1999 issue of the unfortunately non-defunct Advertising Trade Card Quarterly.)
Shown today is a mid-twentieth century stab at future forecasting. This album for affixing stamps found in packages of chocolate, with all 130 of them dutifully and neatly pasted in place, was put out by the Belgian chocolate company Aiglon. Undated, it looks to me to be from 1950, and thus a "Fifty Years Hence" attempt. In this shorter time frame such predictions may be a tad less difficult to make accurately, and many of Aiglon's prognostications have since come to pass. To me, the most striking one may be that the robot on the cover bears a striking resemblance to 3CPO from "Star Wars"!
Here are a few of the 130 Aiglon stamps; on several pages, multiple stamps combine to produce a larger image . . .
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