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26 Shockingly Bad Predictions

These people looked into the future...and got it completely wrong.

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1.

Variety magazine, 1955.
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Variety magazine, 1955.

2.

Charles Darwin, writing in the foreword to On the Origin of Species, 1859.
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Charles Darwin, writing in the foreword to On the Origin of Species, 1859.

3.

Economist Irving Fisher in October 1929, three days before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression.
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Economist Irving Fisher in October 1929, three days before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression.

4.

A Decca Records executive to the band's manager, Brian Epstein, following an audition in 1962. He continued: "We don't like your boys' sound. Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished."
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A Decca Records executive to the band's manager, Brian Epstein, following an audition in 1962. He continued: "We don't like your boys' sound. Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished."

5.

Time magazine, 1968.
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Time magazine, 1968.

6.

John Langdon-Davies, A Short History of the Future, 1936.
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John Langdon-Davies, A Short History of the Future, 1936.

7.

Margaret Thatcher, Oct. 26, 1969.
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Margaret Thatcher, Oct. 26, 1969.

8.

Guglielmo Marconi, pioneer of radio, writing in Technical World magazine, October 1912.
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Guglielmo Marconi, pioneer of radio, writing in Technical World magazine, October 1912.

9.

Kaiser Wilhelm II to German troops at the outset of World War One, August 1914.
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Kaiser Wilhelm II to German troops at the outset of World War One, August 1914.

10.

Surgeon General of the United States William H. Stewart, speaking to the U.S. Congress in 1969.
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Surgeon General of the United States William H. Stewart, speaking to the U.S. Congress in 1969.

11.

Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.
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Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.

12.

Dr. Dionysys Larder, science writer and academic, in 1828.
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Dr. Dionysys Larder, science writer and academic, in 1828.

13.

Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1923.

Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1923.

14.

New York Times, 1936.
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New York Times, 1936.

15.

Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, in InfoWorld magazine, December 1995.
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Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, in InfoWorld magazine, December 1995.

16.

The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903.
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The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903.

17.

William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell the company his invention.
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William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell the company his invention.

18.

Charlie Chaplin in 1916, two years into his big-screen acting career. The rest of the quote: "It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage."
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Charlie Chaplin in 1916, two years into his big-screen acting career. The rest of the quote: "It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage."

19.

An aide to British military commander Field Marshal Haig wrote this in a report following a tank demonstration, 1916.
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An aide to British military commander Field Marshal Haig wrote this in a report following a tank demonstration, 1916.

20.

Thomas Edison, 1889. The lightbulb inventor insisted his own direct current (DC) system was superior to competitor George Westinghouse's AC power, and took every opportunity to discredit alternating current.
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Thomas Edison, 1889. The lightbulb inventor insisted his own direct current (DC) system was superior to competitor George Westinghouse's AC power, and took every opportunity to discredit alternating current.

21.

Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.
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Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.

22.

Byte magazine editor Edmund DeJesus, 1998.
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Byte magazine editor Edmund DeJesus, 1998.

23.

Alan Sugar, 2005.
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Alan Sugar, 2005.

24.

Popular Mechanics, 1949.

Popular Mechanics, 1949.

25.

Sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling in The New York Times, 2007.
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Sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling in The New York Times, 2007.

26.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2007.
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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2007.