Predictions from the 1950’s

Medical Predictions for 1999 (made in 1955)

Dr. Lowry H. McDaniel of Tyronza, Ark., was a very optimistic doctor, though his ideas were certainly in line with medical futurists’ thinking of that era.  The June 9, 1955 Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV) lays out his vision of the year 1999, which includes a 150 year life span, a cancer vaccine, and the complete eradication of infectious disease. You can read his 10 predictions for the year 1999 below:

  1. A man 90 years old will be considered “young,” a man of 135 “more mature” and there will be “a minimum of senility because the heavy cholesterol which determines the age of our arteries will be absent.”
  2. “Our women, thanks to proper hormone medication, would stay young, beautiful and shapely indefinitely.”
  3. The Salk killed-virus vaccine “which is doing a tremendous job now” will be replaced in a few years by a living modified virus vaccine.
  4. All human infectious disease, including rheumatic heart disease and venereal disease, will be eradicated.
  5. Cancer will be “successfully treated by a virus vaccine or radioactive compounds.”
  6. The common cold and “even the more serious respiratory virus infections will be only a memory.”
  7. “Even greater victories await the highly-trained surgeon” of the future. Eye surgeons will restore vision to today’s hopeless cases.
  8. Synthetic foodstuff will bring an end forever to famine and starvation.
  9. Electronic devices will enable deaf mutes to “speak.” Initial research is underway by the Radio Corporation of America.
  10. Insulin will be given in tablet form for the control of diabetes. Medical science will discover an “effective treatment” against the blood, heart and degenerative diseases of old age.

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