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An imaginary Derby Citizen from early 19th early century

There is an article in Derby local newspaper Mercury telling an imaginary Derby citizen from the early 19th century how good things were now:

Consider! In your day only a few people could read and write. In your day you walked to Nottingham, or you spent 10 hours in getting to London by coach. In ours the Nottingham run takes half-an-hour; we get to London in three, to Paris in a day, to America in a week. Your best idea of a telegraph was a line of signal posts from the sea to London; we have wires and we can communicate with anyone in a few hours; with other wires we can telephone and actually talk to people either in their offices in Derby or their offices in London. Your news from the Continent took weeks to come, now we can get it flashed under the sea, from all parts of the world in a few hours.

You lighted your homes with rush-lights or candles; we light our houses or streets with gas or electricity. You took your pitcher to the pump; we get our water, fresh and pure from the country, brought inside our houses. Your bread was dear; our is cheap. You grew what you ate; we get much of ours over the seas - indeed, we make ice-machines in Derby, which brings meat all the way from Australia. Your only notion of a tram was the old line the father of all the tram-lines in the world, they say, which brought and still brings the coal down from Derby to the canal at Little Eaton; ours is a coach on iron rails, which runs through the principal streets of the town. You probably heard of the hobby horse as a toy, our inventors have turned it into a machine on which our men and maidens career about the country at the rate of 10 miles an hour. You used to think that machinery killed labour; we have discovered that machinery creates labour.


Of course human imaginary has the limitation, this Derby citizen had not foreseen the radio, television, compact disc, airplane and unending ordinary conveniences of the 20th century hidden in the future. In his imaginary world the fastest car could only drive 10 miles an hour. And now the trains are not running through the principal streets of the town delivering coal to every household.

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