In the year 1933 physician Ira S. Wile made some wild predictions about what marriage would look like 100 years in the future.
And although it's not yet 2033, we can still be thankful that his predictions for our world just 22 years from now were wildly off the mark.
Dr. Wile imagined a bureau of records under government control that would begin monitoring people the day they were born. He predicted that everything about a person would be recorded; from someone's physical and mental defects at birth to the subjective progress and imperfections of that person throughout their life. Then, when someone wished to be married, they would be assessed by bureaucrats and found a suitable mate based upon case cards that have been cross-indexed against members of the opposite sex. These assessments would be made based on class and desirable physical and mental traits. I don't know about you guys, but after reading the words "case cards" and "cross-indexed" I'm gonna have to take a long, cold shower. Reproduction by committee gets me so hot...
Just three years earlier the 1930 movie Just Imagine looked at this very same issue. Set in the high-tech dystopian world of 1980, the musical sci-fi film (yes, I said musical science fiction) follows the forbidden love of two people that the government's marriage tribunal won't allow to marry. At least in Wile's future it sounds like people can conceive their children the fun old-fashioned messy way rather than just popping two bits into a vending machine.
Here's the entire article, published in the June 25, 1933 Oakland Tribune.
While it might be somehow easier — though still repugnant — to understand State controlled sexual reproduction and marriage in a pre-WWII era, we must remember that human eugenics didn't die with Nazism, as you can see in this clip from 1967.
The Paleofuture Blog was started by Matt Novak in January of 2007. Matt has since become an accidental expert on past visions of the future, and has amassed an enormous library of media related to the study of retro-futurism. Matt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter.
And for more weird predictions about future marriage, see Hugo Gernsback's wacky marriage license tests.