25 Famous Predictions That Were Proven To Be Horribly Wrong

From nuclear energy to telephones almost every new technology had its detractors. These are 25 famous predictions that were proven to be horribly wrong.

25. “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” – Albert Einstein, 1932

24. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Company on declining to sign the Beatles, 1962

23. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876

22. “Reagan doesn’t have that presidential look.” – United Artists executive after rejecting Reagan as lead in the 1964 film The Best Man

21. “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” – Dr. Dionysius Lardner, 1830

20. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

19. “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

18. “Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.” – -Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison’s light bulb, 1880

17. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.” – -The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903

16. “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – -Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946

15. “No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free.” – King William I of Prussia, on trains, 1864

14. “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” – -Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), in a talk given to a 1977 World Future Society meeting in Boston

13. “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” – -W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

12. “No, it will make war impossible.” – -Hiram Maxim, inventor of the machine gun, in response to the question “Will this gun not make war more terrible?” from Havelock Ellis, an English scientist, 1893

11. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” – -Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio in 1921

10. “There will never be a bigger plane built.” – – A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people

9. “How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton’s steamboat, 1800s

8. “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.” — Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916

7. “I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.” — HG Wells, British novelist, in 1901

6. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.” — IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959

5. “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878

4. “It’ll be gone by June.” – Variety Magazine on Rock n’ Roll, 1955

3. “And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam” – -Newsweek, predicting popular holidays for the late 1960s.

2. “When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” – Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson

1. A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *