Atlantic Bloopers

As a general rule, the Atlantic tends to be prescient in its predictions. But from time to time, the magazine does get a few things amusingly wrong...

A 1942 article predicted that by 1955 we'd all be flying helicopters to work:

The Coming Air Age (September 1942)
"Let us peer briefly at 1955 and see how your wife handles a typical family helicopter as she flies fifty miles to spend an hour with a friend. She opens the doors of the helicopter hangar that is only slightly larger and higher than your old two-car garage. She pushes the starter, the motor purrs. Seated in the two-place cabin, she presses a clutch that applies the engine power to the wheels. For this is a roadable model; she does not have to push or pull it to the lawn. The helicopter drives itself out of its garage to a suitable space near your badminton court... She permits the machine to ascend to 1200 feet... She turns the machine to the left to pick up the plainly marked air route to her friend's home... In thirty minutes she sights her friend's house."

Just before the Internet bubble burst, a pair of Atlantic contributors speculated that the Dow was about to skyrocket:

Dow 36,000 (September 1999)
"Stock prices could double, triple, or even quadruple tomorrow and still not be too high."

In 1916, The Atlantic speculated that the many explosions of World War I were causing extra rain:

Has the War Affected the Weather? (September 1916)
"For some months past the weather conditions have been abnormal, particularly in the matter of rainfall, in the battle-zones and elsewhere."

This 1970s-era contributor missed the mark a bit in his assessment of the computer...

Computers Aren't So Smart, After All (August 1974)
"Every culture has its misdirected enthusiasms which fail dramatically. The great computer craze of the late fifties and the sixties is such a case."

In 1955, an industrial designer made some predictions about the cars of 2005. Many of his predictions were accurate. Others less so...

Jukebox on Wheels (April 1955)
"Perhaps the driver will wear wrist electrodes. Or the steering wheel may transmit the body impulses. That steering wheel must, by all means, be mounted on a telescoping column..."