The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Predictions that didn't hold the test of time

I have been super busy, so I haven't been able to update my blog as I would like.  But I ran across this and I thought it was pretty neat. 

I also had this pic riding in my "pics" folder for a while and just haven't a place to post it.  Well I figured it would work here.

"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

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom". -Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923 

"Many years will pass until a woman will become Prime Minister"- Margaret Thatcher. She became Prime Minister in short time, in October, 1969

"Nuclear vacuum cleaners will be a reality in ten years" - Alex Lewyt, president Lewyt Corp, 1955.

"If you like your Dr, you can keep your Dr" Barack Obama 2010
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons". -Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"This antitrust thing will disappear". -Bill Gates

"AIG may have huge collections in the second half of the year". -Bijan Moazami, an economic analyst, in May 2008. AIG ultimately had huge losses ($25 billion)

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

"It's just a matter of time until Linux will become the dominant OS on desktop systems". -Digg, 2007

"We'll never equip our computers with a mouse". - IBM

"Japanese auto industry has poor chances to ever reach a significant market share here in the USA". -Business Week, 1968

"Planes are interesting toys, but will never have any military value". - Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

"But what is it good for?" -Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip

"Heavier than air flying machines are impossible". -Lord Kelvin, 1895.

"Within two months, Sony will buy Apple. Sony will be the white knight who will pass in the main plan". -Gaston Bastiaens, Apple, 1996

"640K ought to be enough for anybody". -Bill Gates, 1981

"That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced". -Scientific American, in a 1909 report

"Abdomen, thorax and brain will never be touched by surgeons".  -Sir John Eric Ericksen, 1873. 

"Anyone who sees a source of energy resulted from the transformation of these atoms is talking nonsense". -Ernest Rutherford, shortly after the first fission

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s

"We have no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime possesses weapons of mass destruction. These weapons will be identified and found, among people who have produced and now are watching them". -Gen. Tommy Franks, 2003

"This empire will never disappear". -Romans,about the Roman Empire

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C' the idea must be feasible". -A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"Everyone who is somehow familiar with the subject will recognise that it will be a failure". -Henry Morton, the president of Stevens Institute of Technology referring to Edison's bulb, in 1880

"It will take 6 days or 6 weeks; I doubt that it will take 6 months" - Donald Rumsfeld about the invasion of Iraq

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper" -Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind"

"This carriage with no horses is currently just a luxury for the wealthy. Even if the price will decrease in the future, it will probably never be as popular as cycling". -Literary Digest, 1899. It was referring to cars

"We will bury you". Nikita Krushchev, believing that the communist regime will remove the US capitalism, 1958

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out". -Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

"There will never be build a bigger plane". -A Boeing engineer, after having seen the 247 in the air, carrying ten people

"Democracy will disappear by 1950". -John Langdon-Davies in his book "A brief history of the future" in 1936

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible". -Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"If you like your plan, You can keep your plan" Barack Obama 2010
"Basically there is no chance that the satellites be used to provide better service for telephone, television, or radio telegraphy". -T. Craven, FCC member of the committee in 1961. Four years later, the first commercial satellite was released on orbit

"That virus is a pussycat. It will not survive for a long time". -Dr Peter Duesberg, about the HIV virus in 1988

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this". -Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3M Post-It Notepads.

"A rocket will never be able to leave the atmosphere of Earth". -New York Times, 1936

"Man will not fly in 50 years from now on". -Wilbur Wright, after an experimental flight failed in 1901. However, in 1903, Wright brothers demonstrated the opposite

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy". -Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" -HM Warner, in 1927 when silent movies were in fashion

"No matter what, it will never learn anything". -Albert Einstein's teacher to Einstein's father, 1895

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau". -Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"It's a great invention, but who wants to use it?" - President Rutherford B. Hayes, about the phone of Alexander Bell in 1876

"Television will not last. It's just a spark in the water". Mary Somerville, radio broadcast producer, in 1948

"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required". -Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University

"The journey by train at high speeds will not be possible for people, as they won't be able to breathe and will die stifled". - Dr Dionysus Larder, University College London, 1793-1859.

"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself". -the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox

"The x-rays will be just a trick". -Lord Kelvin, 1883

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon". -Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873

"To dig for oil? You mean to drill the ground for draw out the oil? You are crazy". Some workers who worked for Edwin L. Drake in 1859

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home". -Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

1 comment:

  1. Oopsie... Of course hindsight is ALWAYS 20-20, unless the media is involved...