Imagine taking a time machine back to 1750

Matthew J Carter
3 min readFeb 22, 2018

Imagine hopping into a time machine to 1723 and picking up Edward, a man from an era where candlelight was the pinnacle of brightness, and the swiftest horse determined the speed of the latest news. To Edward, amplifying his voice or the sound of a cannon firing represented the peak of long-distance messaging.

Upon arriving in 2023 with Edward, a whole 300 years into his future, he’s immediately disoriented by the cacophony of what appear to be metal carriages whizzing past without any horses pulling them. The roads look alive with these strange chariots, emitting neither sound nor smoke, unlike the carriages of his time.

You guide him to Amelia, who speaks nonchalantly about her morning flight from a land Edward knows as the far-off, mysterious continent — Australia. To him, such a journey would take months by ship, facing storms and uncertainties.

But what truly captures his wonder is when Amelia presents a flat, gleaming object — her “tablet”. It springs to life with images and sounds, showcasing musicians performing. Edward is handed a similar, smaller device — a “magical wizard rectangle” that can freeze moments in time, display maps with bewitched moving dots that trace his very steps, and conjure faces of people from lands afar, allowing them to converse as if they were mere inches apart. To him, these are not mere tools but artifacts of enchantment, objects of unexplainable marvel.

Yet, these wonders are just the beginning. You contemplate sharing the digital universe of the internet or explaining the floating cities in space, the vast machine burrowed deep in the earth probing the very essence of the universe, weapons with the power of the sun, and theories that warp the very fabric of reality itself.

You guide him into what you call a “sports bar”, a bustling establishment filled with the chatter of patrons. In each, different scenes play out — men and women in unfamiliar attire engaging in games and contests, all taking place in lands far and wide.

Then, you hand him your smartphone and guide him to capture his own visage within it. As he gazes at his own reflection, not in a mirror but in this handheld wonder, he’s at a loss for words, finally murmuring, “captured magic.”

However, the true marvel comes with video calling. When a face materializes on the screen, speaking and responding in real-time, Edward’s eyes widen in disbelief. “Is this a spirit?” he wonders aloud, struggling to fathom how he’s conversing with someone miles away as if they were right beside him. “Have we gained the favor of some higher power?” he questions in awe.

Witnessing Edward’s sheer wonderment, you’re reminded of humanity’s ever-present thirst for knowledge and discovery. It makes you ponder: How would we, so accustomed to our era, react to the marvels of 2286?

When the time comes for Edward to return to 1750, the man who steps back into his century is not the same one who left. Whispers of his otherworldly tales spread like wildfire, filling taverns with hushed conversations. While many dismiss his accounts as fanciful dreams, a handful of thinkers and dreamers can’t help but wonder: If Edward’s tales are true, what unfathomable wonders await in the years to come?

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Matthew J Carter

Entrepreneur and founder with a track record spanning 12 years in various start-ups, and one acquisition.