The July 30, 1969 Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) ran a piece titled, "Little Work, Big Pay Forecast Year 2000." Thirty hour work weeks, lawns that needn't be mowed, and automated kitchens are just a few of the innovations mentioned by Richard Gillis Jr., in a speech given to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club in 1969.
An America with automated farming and homemaking, large incomes and short work week, most people living in urban areas and the majority of them young, was forecast by the executive director of Commerce, Richard Gillis Jr., in speaking to the Petersburg Kiwanis Club Tuesday. The entire article appears below.
The address of Gillis at the Holiday Inn was on "The Year 2000."
Gillis called control the key word in urging Kiwanians to work for an educational system that will enlarge man's understanding, control and enjoyment of life."
Looking ahead to prepare ourselves and our children, Gillis said. "Let us gather up as much as we can of this great civilized heritage which began here in Virginia while we still have it and transmit it on to our children. They will be grateful for this and it will give them the opportunity to enjoy the next fabulous 31 years, and we will know we have done something of worth."
During the next two decades, Gillis said, "young people will make up the greatest part of the U.S. population growth. Indeed, ours is a young population, with the trend moving strongly in the direction of a national population in which half of our people will be under 26 years of age in just a few years."
During the rapid growth in the population in which time "two per cent will be able to produce all the food needed by this country. . . the migration of people from rural areas to cities, from undeveloped societies to industrial ones, from poverty pockets to more affluent areas, will continue to take place at a fast rate.
"A distinguishing feature of rural America in the year 2000 . . . will be towers containing television scanners to keep an eye on robot tractors. The owner of the farm of the future will no more be out riding a tractor than the president of General Motors is out today on the assembly line, tightening bolts," said Gillis.
For the women in the homes, Gillis said, "All she will have to do to order a meal will simply be to punch a few instructions out and food will be transferred from the storage compartment to the oven at the proper intervals and cooked." He added, "Food preparation will be completely automated. By the year 2000, we will have eliminated the pot and pan."
Gillis said he wishes very much to live through the next 31 years. "I am anxious to see the time come when grass will only grow to a certain height and stay green continually, and the sound of the lawn mower will no longer be heard in the land."
Incomes will be increased greatly said Gillis. And with the increase, people "will have devoted adequate portions of their incomes to overcome successfully water and air pollution, congested roads and airways, and many disease, both physical and social.
"The work week and the work day will be drastically reduced," said Gillis. "The majority of the people will be working less than 30 hours a week." He didn't predict just how the populace will adjust to the increased free time.