FACT CHECK: Is this an illustration of how the world will be in 2022 according to an Italian magazine from 1962?

International Partly False

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, governments and health authorities around the world continue to emphasize the importance of social distancing to combat the spread of the virus. In fact, various awareness programs are being implemented around the world to help educate the public. 

In this backdrop, a series of viral social media posts claimed that a 1962 issue of an Italian magazine published an image that predicted how the world would look in 2022 and featured people on the streets travelling in individual motorized units. The reality of it the image however is that it was a proposed solution to future traffic congestion and had no specific reference to how the world would appear in 2022

Some of the social media posts on this topic:

Facebook user Janaka Bandara Dasanayaka posted the image depicting people standing in a spherical encased glass case with the words “A picture of the world in 2022 in an Italian magazine from 1962“. A series of similar posts were shared among other Facebook users as well.

FacebookArchived Link
FacebookArchived Link

FACT CHECK

Using a Google Reverse Image search, we discovered that the artwork was credited to cartoonist called Walter Molino (1915 – 1997).  Molino is considered to be one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th century. What’s more, this illustration published on the back cover of Domenica del Corriere , an Italian weekly magazine in 1962, was Molino’s attempt at portraying a one-man futuristic transport system. 

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Above is the original image of the 1962 Italian magazine accompanied by the text: “Will this be how we get around in cities?” Instead of the multi-passenger automobiles of the present day, the image proposed the Singoleta, a small single-seater car as a solution to reduce the traffic problem in cities. Clearly, there was no mention or reference to 2022 and the piece was merely a presentation of an innovative idea. 

Further investigations revealed that the Singoleta was a hybrid between a two-wheeler and a smart car. Driven with a transparent casing to protect the person against weather and other environmental conditions, the Singoleta was essentially meant to be an advanced scooter. 

Below is an English translation of the newspaper article published on the 7th page of the 1962 Italian magazine, which had described in detail about the Singoleta 

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FuturoesistitoArchived Link

Hence, it appears that Molino had created the illustration on the back page of the magazine as an addendum to the newspaper article on the same magazine.

CONCLUSION

Our investigation clearly reveals that the 1962 illustration was a solution to urban traffic issues and had nothing to do with the world in 2022. While the viral post implied that it was about social distancing measure the world would have to practice due to the pandemic, the illustration was merely a supplement an article from December 1962 magazine, about a futuristic transport method as a possible solution to increasing traffic.

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Title:Is this an illustration of how the world will be in 2022 according to an Italian magazine from 1962?

Fact Check By: Shanaya Seneviratne 

Result: Partly False

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