Houses Will Cost Only $5,000
In 1950, Popular Mechanics published an article titled “Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years.” The article suggested that building materials such as wood, brick, and stone would become too expensive by the year 2000. Instead, houses would be made from metal, sheets of plastic, and aerated clay. By now, houses were supposed to be cheap (costing only $5,000) and weatherproof. But they were also predicted to last only 25 years because there would be no sense in building houses that could last a century. Household gadgets were predicted to be minimal. For example, it was believed that dishes would be placed into a sink where they would be dissolved by superheated water at about 121 degrees Celsius (250 °F). The plastics would be made from cheap raw materials such as fruit pits, soybeans, straw, and wood pulp. It was envisioned that sawdust and wood pulp could by now be converted into sugary foods and, strangely enough, that rayon underwear could be converted into candy.
Highways Will Be Air-Conditioned In Desert Regions
The “Magic Highway, USA” episode of the TV series Disneyland from the 1950s predicted how transportation, and especially highways, would change over the years in America. It was predicted that a multicolored highway system would be a common sight that would enable drivers to reach their destinations easily by following the correct color strip. Radiant heat would keep highway surfaces dry through rain, ice, and snow. Hot desert wastelands could be traversed through air-conditioned routes. Tunnels would be made with the help of atomic reactors which would apply high heat to mountains, instantly melting the hard rock. A giant road builder would be able to change rough ground into a wide, finished highway in an instant while insurmountable barriers and cliffs would be scaled by highway escalators.