If you don’t already know about it, there is a wonderful site dedicated to how the past saw the future called Paleofuture. The original site is at the first link, and started off being a project for a class that Matt Novak was taking back in 2007, which he figured would be taken down when the class ended a few months later. What he didn’t expect was that he would become addicted to learning about all the different stuff folks in the past thought about how the future would be. He continued to add new entries to the site until he finally graduated in 2011.
Then Matt got his first real job at the Smithsonian in September of 2011, which was also happy to host the Paleofuture new and improved site. It looks to me like he learned a lot from some of the Smithsonian team about how to both research his topic and present the results of that research. His entries went from being the isn’t this neat kind of postings he did in school to detailed analysis of not only what folks in the past were thinking about what the future would be like, but how and why they came to those conclusions. It was during this period that his site grew into the ideas powerhouse it is today, rich in understanding of the various previous eras and how they each perceived the times to come.
The site moved again this week, following Matt this past Thursday to his new job at Gizmodo to become Paleofuture in its 3rd incarnation. Mind, each of the previous sites still exist in archived form, they just aren’t having new articles added. Matt has a lot of good info and ideas to share, if you haven’t run across him before now I recommend you take some time to explore his sites.