Fact check: Image from 1962 newspaper doesn't show futuristic vision of 2022

·2 min read

The claim: A 1962 image predicted life in 2022

During the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and face masks became commonplace. Some social media users say an image published nearly 60 years ago bears a striking resemblance to those public health guidelines.

The image, which circulated on Twitter last year, was published in a recent Facebook post from The Italian American Page. The post features an artist's rendering of people riding alone in futuristic and dome-like enclosed vehicles.

"In 1962 an Italian magazine did a story about what the world would look like in 2022,"says the May 13 post, which has more than 600 shares.

The decades-old image, however, did not predict life in 2022. The depiction traces back to an Italian news story about the future of transportation in cities.

USA TODAY reached out to The Italian American Page for comment.

Image does not specify a year

The image posted on Facebook was printed in the Dec. 16, 1962, edition of La Domenica del Corriere (Sunday Courier), a now-defunct Italian weekly newspaper. The image was created by Italian illustrator and comics artist Walter Molino, as other independent fact-checking organizations have pointed out.

The illustration shows the Singoletta, a single-passenger vehicle that Molino envisioned as a way to reduce traffic in big cities of the future.

“Will cities be like this? Here's how the traffic problem in cities could be reduced, if not solved completely," says a caption in the bottom right-hand corner of the image. "Instead of the current bulky cars, we have Singolettas, small single-seater cars that occupy a minimum surface area. Walter Molino imagines the street view here if the new solution was adopted on a large scale.”

The Singoletta, a motorized four-wheeled scooter, was envisioned to be something akin to a cross between the two-wheeled Segway Personal Transporter and the Smart car, according to the newspaper.

La Domenica del Corriere described the Singoletta as a potential vehicle of the future, but USA TODAY did not find any indication that it was predicted as something to be used specifically in 2022.

Our rating: Partly false

The claim that an image from 1962 predicted life in 2022 is PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. The photo was printed in an edition of La Domenica del Corriere and depicted an illustrator's vision for future transportation. It didn't claim to show life specifically in 2022.

Our fact-checking sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 1962 image did not predict life in 2022

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