Thomas Edison's golden age
"We are already on the verge of discovering the secret of transmuting metals, which are all substantially the same in matter, though combined in different proportions. Before long it will be an easy matter to convert a truck load of iron bars into as many bars of virgin gold. In the magical days to come there is no reason why our great liners should not be of solid gold from stem to stern; why we should not ride in golden taxicabs, or substituted gold for steel in our drawing room suites. Only steel will be the more durable, and thus the cheaper in the long run."- Thomas Edison on his predictions for the year 2011, Miami Metropolis, June 23, 1911.
From electric light to recorded music, we owe a lot of the futuristic vision of Edison, but judging by this interview in which he imagined life in the year 2011, he evidently wouldn't have made much of a commodities trader. Or an alchemist. The price of gold -- a material still so rare that the world's entire supply in human history would only amount to a 60 foot cube -- has increased nearly 7 times over the last 50 years. Edison also predicted in the same interview that in the future books would be printed on leaves of nickel "so light to hold that the reader can enjoy a small library in a single volume." A proto-Kindle perhaps?