In the Year 2889

Jules Verne
the Year 2889, by Jules Verne
and Michel Verne

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Title: In the Year 2889
Author: Jules Verne and Michel Verne
Release Date: September 23, 2006 [EBook #19362]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
YEAR 2889 ***

Produced by Norm Wolcott

[Redactor's note: In the Year 2889 was first published in the Forum,
February, 1889; p. 262. It was published in France the next year.
Although published under the name of Jules Verne, it is now believed

to be chiefly if not entirely the work of Jules' son, Michel Verne. In any
event, many of the topics in the article echo Verne's ideas.]
Little though they seem to think of it, the people of this twenty-ninth
century live continually in fairyland. Surfeited as they are with marvels,
they are indifferent in presence of each new marvel. To them all seems
natural. Could they but duly appreciate the refinements of civilization
in our day; could they but compare the present with the past, and so
better comprehend the advance we have made! How much fairer they
would find our modern towns, with populations amounting sometimes
to 10,000,000 souls; their streets 300 feet wide, their houses 1000 feet
in height; with a temperature the same in all seasons; with their lines of
aërial locomotion crossing the sky in every direction! If they would but
picture to themselves the state of things that once existed, when
through muddy streets rumbling boxes on wheels, drawn by horses--yes,
by horses!--were the only means of conveyance. Think of the railroads
of the olden time, and you will be able to appreciate the pneumatic
tubes through which to-day one travels at the rate of 1000 miles an
hour. Would not our contemporaries prize the telephone and the
telephote more highly if they had not forgotten the telegraph?
Singularly enough, all these transformations rest upon principles which
were perfectly familiar to our remote ancestors, but which they
disregarded. Heat, for instance, is as ancient as man himself; electricity
was known 3000 years ago, and steam 1100 years ago. Nay, so early as
ten centuries ago it was known that the differences between the several
chemical and physical forces depend on the mode of vibration of the
etheric particles, which is for each specifically different. When at last
the kinship of all these forces was discovered, it is simply astounding
that 500 years should still have to elapse before men could analyze and
describe the several modes of vibration that constitute these differences.
Above all, it is singular that the mode of reproducing these forces
directly from one another, and of reproducing one without the others,
should have remained undiscovered till less than a hundred years ago.
Nevertheless, such was the course of events, for it was not till the year

2792 that the famous Oswald Nier made this great discovery.
Truly was he a great benefactor of the human race. His admirable
discovery led to many another. Hence is sprung a pleiad of inventors,
its brightest star being our great Joseph Jackson. To Jackson we are
indebted for those wonderful instruments the new accumulators. Some
of these absorb and condense the living force contained in the sun's
rays; others, the electricity stored in our globe; others again, the energy
coming from whatever source, as a waterfall, a stream, the winds, etc.
He, too, it was that invented the transformer, a more wonderful
contrivance still, which takes the living force from the accumulator,
and, on the simple pressure of a button, gives it back to space in
whatever form may be desired, whether as heat, light, electricity, or
mechanical force, after having first obtained from it the work required.
From the day when these two instruments were contrived is to be dated
the era of true progress. They have put into the hands of man a power
that is almost infinite. As for their applications, they are numberless.
Mitigating the rigors of winter, by giving back to the atmosphere the
surplus heat stored up during the summer, they have revolutionized
agriculture. By supplying motive power for aërial navigation, they have
given to commerce a mighty impetus. To them we are indebted for the
continuous production of electricity without batteries or dynamos, of
light without combustion or incandescence, and for an unfailing supply
of mechanical energy for all the needs of industry.
Yes, all these wonders have
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