13 Predictions About the Future That Were Dead Wrong

Cleaning the house will require only a hose

Woman hand holding rubber water hose and using finger close end of rubber water hose to make water spray with sunlight and green grass field in background. World Water Day conpect.siam.pukkato/Shutterstock

Waldemar Kaempffert, the science editor of the New York Times, wrote in 1950 of "Miracles You'll See In The Next Fifty Years." One of those miracles involved housekeeping. Kaempffert described the life and chores of a future housewife he named "Jane Dobson" thusly: "When Jane Dobson cleans house she simply turns the hose on everything. Why not? Furniture (upholstery included), rugs, draperies, unscratchable floors—all are made of synthetic fabric or waterproof plastic. After the water has run down a drain in the middle of the floor (later concealed by a rug of synthetic fiber), Jane turns on a blast of hot air and dries everything."

We're all going to live forever-ish

Grandson holding grandpa's handsRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Sure, this prediction doesn't expire until 2030, but somehow we're a little doubtful it'll come true. A friend of Winston Churchill, high-powered lawyer FE Smith, wrote in 1922 of medical advances he saw on the horizon. In part, he foresaw medical injections that would help humans live to 150 years old. He thought this was a good thing for the most part, but it did make him worry, "How will youths of 20 be able to compete in the professions or business against vigorous men still in their prime at 120, with a century of experience on which to draw"? While his prediction was dead wrong, these 11 lies changed the course of history.

Telephones will never catch on

Old Time Telephone 1939.Herbert Mason/Shutterstock

In 1876, the President of Western Union, William Orton, dismissed phones as a "toy" when Alexander Graham Bell offered to sell him the patent for $100,000. According to True West magazine, Orton wrote an internal memo stating, "The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?"

That was 13 Predictions About the Future That Were Dead Wrong

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