JF Ptak Science Books Post 2606
A wonderful series of images appeared in the work of Darran Anderson on his Imaginary Cities (https://twitter.com/Oniropolis) contribution on Twitter. He shared several images by the great Winsor McCay illustrating humorous/satirical/speculative sci-fi/fantasy pieces by John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922) on what the future might be, publishing them in the New York Herald in addition (at least) the Los Angeles Herald in 1906. One of the stories that I found most intriguing was on a supermegalopolis called Philyorgo--the vision of it being made possible via the invention of a fantastical instrument called the Spectrophone. It enabled the viewer to see (and hear!) into the future. In this installment the narrator tells his audience about an enormous city of the year 4307 called Polyorgo. It is basically a city comprising the cities of Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, and all the little cities in-between, all rising in a neat 30-strata rectangle 1,600 feet tall and 238 miles long (which doesn't quite get to Chicago, but no matter. It is the imagery that matters, not the math [you can't spell "matter" without M A T, but...]).
From the Los Angeles Herald: "At this point," cried the megaphone bred pilot, "we see the southern exposure of the city of Philyorgo, the commercial capital of the universe. It is 238 miles in length, extending from what was once the city of New York on the north to the ancient city of Washington on the south, and from base to sky line runs sixteen thousand feet above the level of the sea.
"As you are aware, It is the greatest commercial aggregation in the universe, having a greater population than Mars, Saturn, the Great Dipper and Europe combined, and is the result of the annexation by the city of Chicago of New York, Philadelphia. Washington and other smaller cities lying between. It consists of thirty different strata, including basement and roof. Its resemblance to the skyscraper of other times being due to the superimposition of city upon city, until the final plateau-like sky line was reached, upon which dwell the workers who during working hours go below into the various underlying sections to which their business calls them."
"The various floors are connected from basement to roof by fast flying elevators, which daily carry the public to and from business at lightning speed. In the basement are the furnaces and dynamos by which the whole city is heated and by which the motive power for the rapid transit facilities of Philyorgo is supplied. The first floor above the basement contains all tho longitudinal rapid transit walks, moving without cessation around the city day and night at rates of speed varying from four to five hundred miles an hour. These lines of movable walks are arranged in concentric parabolic circles, so that a traveler wishing to proceed at the greatest rate of speed by stepping briskly from the fixed and Immovable walk on the outside across the Intervening circle toward the rapidly moving innermost platform may with perfect safety board the section that is traveling with the greatest velocity. By this means a wayfarer in Phllyorgo may go from one end of the city to the other in a trifle over two hours, finding at intervals of the ordinary city block the express elevators that will take him upward to the stratum he desires to reach."
The complete Bangs story is here: California Digital Newspapers Collection The Los Angeles Herald Volume 33, Number 155, 4 March 1906 http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH19060304.2.140.29
Imaginary Cities (https://twitter.com/Oniropolis)
A good source for this McCay material is the Norman Rockwell Center: http://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-rising-tide/
The quotation source for the Bangs article: California Digital Newspapers Collection The Los Angeles Herald Volume 33, Number 155, 4 March 1906 http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH19060304.2.140.29