In 1910 French illustrator Villemard created a series of pictures that imagined the year 2000. Here are a few. For the entire collection, go here. Let us proceed:
While it’s true airplanes were up and running by 1910, winged craft were limited to experimental machines that had little power or distance to carry more than three passengers, as would any ocean going vessel, car, or horse-drawn carriage of the day. The romanticism of en masse leisure travel over great distances still lay in the lighter-than-air dirigibles that Germany popularized a few decades later– Uh… Does anyone smell something burning?
It’s no wonder that as flying became the standard in the 1910s that wings would trump rockets in the imagination of the time, much the way physics and aerodynamics would eventually trump Villemard’s imagination.
As a side note: Is anyone seeing here Truffaut’s 1966 film Fahrenheit 451? Look closely. If you lose the wings and give ’em jet packs, the uniforms–down to the helmets–will match those worn by the firemen in the film. Right? (Hey Montag! Check that baby’s britches for copies of Peter and Wendy!)