25 Famous Predictions That Were Proven To Be Horribly Wrong

Posted by , Updated on March 13, 2014

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

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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

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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

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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

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22

"Reagan doesn't have that presidential look." - United Artists executive after rejecting Reagan as lead in the 1964 film The Best Man

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21

"Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." - Dr. Dionysius Lardner, 1830

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20

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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19

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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4

"It'll be gone by June." - Variety Magazine on Rock n' Roll, 1955

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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.

"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

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1

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

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