the human drift


There was once supposed to have been a city, located not far from Niagara Falls, where 60 million people lived in 24,000 apartment buildings, each 25 stories tall. In Metropolis, as the city was named, the apartment buildings were arranged in a regular pattern and served as the central hubs or cogs around which life there revolved. Short, neatly landscaped walkways connected the buildings together and led to wider and longer avenues that crisscrossed through the city. Schools, recreation and amusement centers, flower conservatories, parks as ample as they were well-planted, and buildings for food production and storage clustered around every apartment building, each of which accommodated about 2,500 people in comfort and high style. According to the city’s creator, “the most magnificent modern hotel in New York could not compare in beauty of its rooms and liberality of its service with any one of these thousands of buildings of Metropolis.” … Metropolis never did exist, however, except in the elaborate and detailed pages of The Human Drift, an 1894 utopian tract by King Camp Gillette.

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