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The Worst Predictions in History

 The problem with being a public figure, is that your words, and your predictions, will be written down and compared to what actually happens. Well, not every prediction is true, and some of them, like the ones on this list - miss the mark by a mile!

Variety magazine, 1955

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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."

bad predictions
 

Time magazine, 1968.

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

Margaret Thatcher, Oct. 26, 1969

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1923

bad predictions
 

New York Times, 1936

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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.

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

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.

bad predictions
 

Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948

bad predictions
 

Byte magazine editor Edmund DeJesus, 1998

bad predictions
 

Alan Sugar, 2005

bad predictions
 

Popular Mechanics, 1949

bad predictions
 

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

bad predictions
 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 2007

bad predictions
 

 

Related Topics: interesting, facts, Prediction
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