Throughout history man has been making predictions of the future. With the advent of technology, the predictions moved away from religious topics to scientific and technological. Unfortunately for the speakers, many of these failed predictions have been recorded for all future generations to laugh at. Here is a selection of the 30 best.
1. While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming. – Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer, 1926.
2. Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires, and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value. – Editorial in the Boston Post, 1865
3. “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.” — Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, in 1926
4. ‘The abdomen, the chest and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.’ – Sir John Eric Ericson, Surgeon to Queen Victoria, 1873
5. The so-called theories of Einstein are merely the ravings of a mind polluted with liberal, democratic nonsense which is utterly unacceptable to German men of science. – Dr. Walter Gross, 1940
6. “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” — Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
7. “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
8. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
9. “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” — Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.
10. “[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Culled from Listverse