JF Ptak Science Books Post 2260 History of the Future series
"The century of invention Anno Domini 2000 or the march of aerostation, steam, rail roads, movable houses & perpetual motion" is a terrific lithograph, made ca. 1834, the handiwork and imagination of Charles Jameson Grant, a satirist and observer of high order. He tried looking into the future 165 years hence, and in some practicable ways he got a lot of it right--the imagery wasn't there, but the ideas were.
[And as long as were slightly on the subject, the idea of "anno domini", or "the year of our savior", was an idea controlling the past and future aspects of time that came into being about 500 years after the birth of the event upon which the savior years are based. The idea of anno domini was really in widespread use until the Middle ages were well underway, around the year 800.]
It is difficult to make out from this print (found at the British Museum site, here) but the small visual clues and textual bits are very interesting. First of all the print displays things like small and large individual steam-powered four-wheeled vehicles, as well as plenty of balloons (in the spirit of aviation, at this point in its fourth decade and entering a great heyday) passing each other in every which way, off on adventures, or work, or in a race (as with the "out of Sight Club"). There are also numerous people flapping around in the sky ("winging it so early") with their (something)-powered wings, some of whom are hunting birds.
The main sensation here is speed, though I would not say it was democratic--the means to be able to got to Dublin in your balloon "for an appetite" and return later in the day would have been fantastic to the 1834 reader trying to image doing such a thing on such a whim, with a newspaper in your lap--but certainly it would be available to the leisurely class.
There was also an idea for balloonic (first time I've ever typed that!) communication, as one man in a balloon shouts to another to "give me a call by the first balloon", meaning perhaps it is a communication device, or a balloon-delivered letter.
The dialog certainly portrays an attitude of unremarkable observation, conveying how commonplace flight and mobile towns and steam cars would be in the year 2000. That's where one of the great insights comes into play--at lower left there is a person remarking about a race, and the exclamation upon a great rarity being shown: a live horse. That Grant would make this an issue is interesting, as it would certainly rub the 1830's consciousness the opposite way of what the brain expected to see in the street, and that was horses. Horses powered much of transportation at this time, and to imagine a world in which the horse would be gone would've been, well, unimaginable.
Ditto too the great and extensive coal mines fueling the Industrial Revolution (and it isn't as though factory workers in 1834 woke up int eh morning cheerfully exclaiming that, "Hey, We're in the Industrial Revolution!") going dry, the coal consumed.
Also at bottom there is a very unusual placard concerning robotics: "a cast iron Parson will preach by steam at Fudge Church". Now this is doubly intriguing because it not only invokes a steam-powered person, but a (perhaps) thinking one. It is also putting the word of god into the care and trust and tending--and right into the mouth--of a machine.In short--a robot preaching to a human choir. This is still far removed from the singularity (and the assumption that Our Robot Overlords would have any interest in humans or their religious beliefs), and seems a bit on the primitive side in its display, but the intellectual imagery is pretty powerful stuff. I assume that the power of this would've been less so at the time of publication, guessing that Grant was making more of a not-so-subtle satire on the steam-driven puffery of some preachers with the creativity of kettles, and that in the future this would be magnified to the point of steam and smoke. But still the idea of placing the deeply emotional stuff of belief systems in the control of a machine is extraordinary for the time, I think.
So I think that if you hard enough at this print and don't get distracted by the images Grant uses to try and visualize his ideas of eh future and concentrate on what these things represent, then I think that Grant got a lot of his vision right.