“The Shape of Things That Came,” Richard Deming, 1951 – A man of 1900 is transported fifty years into the future. He returns and tells others about the radical changes he’s witnessed, but they refuse to believe that the young people they know now could inhabit such a future.
Summary at Recursive SF: “George Blade uses his uncle Dr. Ezekiel Herkimer’s invention the time-nightshirt to travel from 1900 to 1950. He reports his adventures in the form of a love story The Time-Nightshirt to his editor, Thomas Grayson. Grayson rejects it because of its implausibility—he cannot believe the inhabitants of 1950 would take a world of marvels for granted.”
Comments: Read in A Treasury of Great Science Fiction. Title is a play on Well’s “The Shape of Things to Come.” J. D. Worthington, in a post to SFF Chronicles on the theme of naivete in early sf, notes that this story is a tongue-in-cheek examination of the new trends which an American populace, caught up in positivism, was anxious to embrace. At this time, he points out, science fiction didn’t exist; what readers sought were stories that tapped into this excitement.
Author: Wikipedia: “Richard Deming is an American poet and philosopher of literature.”