Most Hilariously Wrong Technology Predictions of All Time

Some people have made bold predictions about the future of technology. Here are some of the failed predictions that are most shockingly bad and hilarious at the same time.
The Top Ten
1 "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris." Orville Wright (1920)

Why did he specifically choose New York and Paris? It makes sense for him not to believe that a flying machine could cross the ocean, but why did he pick these two specific cities as destinations? Also, the first flying machine to cross the ocean was a hot air balloon.

I sincerely hope that people nowadays aren't as naive and don't think that what we have today is the best we can do. Guys, there will be new things - things that will far outdo what we have now.

The first flight from New York to Paris was actually only seven years after he made this prediction, in 1927.

2 "The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty-a fad." Michigan Savings Bank (1903)

C.T. Bridgman, President of Michigan Savings Bank, told this to Horace Rackham, who wanted to know whether to invest in Ford Motor Company.

But Rackham's intuition was obviously better, and despite the bank's advice, he bought 50 shares of Ford stock and became one of the original stockholders, company lawyer, chairman, etc.
Reality: In 2010, there were over one billion cars in the world. And there were only about 58 million horses.

Cars are faster, and the USA ended up investing in paved roads, so horses aren't often seen as basic transportation.

3 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olsen (1977)

That was until the internet was created. Now nobody can live without it.

4 "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." Thomas Edison (1889)

Clearly, this man underestimated the genius of Nikola Tesla. Now, over 90% of the power used throughout the world utilizes AC electricity.

Of course he said that. He had a motive against Nikola Tesla. Thankfully, his efforts didn't prevent the existence of AC power.

Mr. Thomas Edison, AC/DC, and their fans disagree! Alternating current (AC) is half of their name!
Also, home and office outlets are almost always AC.

5 "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." Pierre Pachet (1872)

Just think - it was this kind of attitude that held back our ability to understand our own bodies. We couldn't have gone on thinking that diseases came from bad air forever. Well, we could have, but it would have ultimately hurt mankind.

This gives me so much hope for any idea I've ever had shut down.

6 "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin (1895)

Lord Kelvin was an eminent physicist famous for:

1. Devising the absolute temperature scale, now called the 'Kelvin scale.'
2. Formulating the second law of thermodynamics.
3. Working to install telegraph cables under the Atlantic.

And now they're a primary source of transportation.

7 "Everyone acquainted with the subject [light bulb] will recognize it as a conspicuous failure." Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison's light bulb, 1880

Christmas decorations (lights in particular) would horrify Mr. Henry Morton...

8 "Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems." Marty Cooper (1981)

Most of the things these people said are absolutely stupid and illogical when you really think about the benefits of the subjects at hand.

And now, in 2018, an estimated 4 billion people have cell phones.

I actually hate cellphones! But this prediction would be true...

9 "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." Marechal Ferdinand Foch (1911)

Haha. Just try telling that to the Air Force.

10 “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 (1876)
The Contenders
11 "Everything that can be invented has been invented." Charles H. Duell (1899)

Charles H. Duell was a commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents.
I think he deserved to be fired for saying this. How could someone who works for an Office of Patents say it?

12 "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." William Orton (1876)

It's kind of stupid that he would think this, considering that you can send messages and talk to people in mere minutes on a phone instead of relying on a postman to cross the country just to send a message to someone and then cross back to give you the reply.

William Orton was the President of Western Union. He said this in an internal memo at Western Union.

Reality: Phone books are actually very bulky.

Reasonable for then, to be honest.

13 "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 (1946)

Darryl Zanuck was a Hollywood film producer for 20th Century Fox.

14 "The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper." Clifford Stoll, Newsweek, 1995

The article was entitled "Internet? Bah!"

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

I can still imagine that there are some idiots alive today who deny or refuse to acknowledge the existence of X-rays.

Haha, hoax! We can even see the gun in this image!

16 “The idea of a personal communicator in every pocket is a “pipe dream driven by greed.”   Andy Grove (1992)
17 "Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." Dr. Dionysius Lardner, 1830
18 "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”   Lee DeForest (1926)

Lee DeForest, the "Father of Radio," had over 180 patents and was a pioneer in the development of sound-on-film recording used for motion pictures.

19 "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" H.M. Warner (1927)

Who the hell wants to see constant dialogue cards?

H.M. Warner, proud co-founder of Warner Brothers, said this in an era dominated by silent films.

20 “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 (1921)

The wireless music box is the RADIO. David Sarnoff wanted to invest in the radio, but his associates were reluctant. The quote above was his associates' answer.

21 “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”   New York Times (1936)
22 "That virus [HIV] is a pussycat. It will not survive for a long time." Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, 1988

If only this were actually true...

23 “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan”. Mary Somerville (1948)

She was a pioneer of radio educational broadcasts.

24 "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States." T.A.M. Craven (1961)

This picture was taken somewhere in Morocco, obviously in a very poor neighborhood, but look at the satellite TV dishes - they are everywhere!

25 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas Watson (1943)

Thomas Watson (IBM President).

There are approximately 2 billion computers in the world... and IBM helped develop them.

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