Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Sketch from Pearson’s Weekly magazine in 1898, which predicts what London would look like in 1998, is praised for ‘impressive accuracy’ – from cycle paths and buses on roads surrounded by apartment blocks

  • Charlotte Hume, from Kensington Olympia, London, shared a photo from Pearson’s Weekly to her popular Twitter account Back in Time West London
  • Sketch shows London broken up with bus and bike paths and roller skates
  • The text accompanying the picture reads that ‘there will be no stairs, elevators will dominate’ and that ‘most people will live in apartments’


A 1898 cartoon depicting what London would look like in 1998 has been praised for being ‘impressively accurate’ after being shared online by a viral historian.

Charlotte Hume, from Kensington Olympia, London, shared a photo from Pearson’s Weekly with her Twitter account Back in Time West London.

The pencil sketch shows London broken up with bus and cycle paths, many people traveling on open bus, with modern architecture and St Paul’s in sight.

Text accompanying the picture reads that ‘there will be no stairs, elevators will dominate’, and that ‘most people will live in apartments’.

Charlotte Hume, from Kensington Olympia, London, shared a photo from Pearson's Weekly to her Twitter account Back in Time West London.

Charlotte Hume, from Kensington Olympia, London, shared a photo from Pearson’s Weekly to her Twitter account Back in Time West London.

Many people reacted quickly to the image sharing how it was ‘impressively accurate’, while others pointed out things they might have failed, including most who traveled on roller skates and commercials via blimps.

‘”This is what London looks like in 1998″. (Pearson’s Weekly, 1898), ‘Charlotte wrote.

‘Bicycle track, roller skates (missed electric scooters), lots of buses, planes, St. Paul’s still visible, elevated walkways (Barbican only). It’s impressive, ‘wrote a history fan.

St Paul’s is a protected view in London. The system was first introduced in 1938 and ensures that views of historic buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster can be seen from eight of the ‘sightlines’ across London.

There are around 730,000 bike rides a day in London and almost 10,000 buses run daily.

Another added: ‘They got depressing, boxed architecture frighteningly well down.

Many people reacted quickly to the image sharing how it was ‘impressively accurate’, while others pointed out things they might have failed, including most who traveled on roller skates and commercials via blimps.

Many people reacted quickly to the image sharing how it was ‘impressively accurate’, while others pointed out things they might have failed, including most who traveled on roller skates and commercials via blimps.

‘Pretty much predicted the horror that is new London popular architecture. strong prediction work, ”said a third.

‘Not a bad guess,’ added another.

While many items were correct, some missed the mark.

All pedestrians in the picture travel with roller skates while a shadow is used to advertise in the sky.

‘Maybe a little more than emphasizing the importance of the roller skate,’ said one.

‘Wildly underestimated the increase in the private car,’ added another.

‘Funny that the people who put this together could not imagine that buses would have closed top tires fully in 1998,’ joked a third.

Pearson’s Weekly was a British weekly magazine printed from 1890 to 1939.

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