Apropos of Nothing

June 24, 2008

That’ll never work

Filed under: Newsworthy,Science — aproposofnothing @ 8:33 pm

In light of the claim that inflatable cars are set to become the vehicle of the future, Null Hypothesis has found a long and distinguished list of inventions that were poo pooed by esteemed individuals, only for the product to become a raging success.

This `telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
– Western Union internal memo, 1878

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
– Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)  British mathematician and physicist

Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean.
– Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859)  Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
– Ken Olson, President of Digital Corporation, 1977

To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth–all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.
– Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer, 1926

There is growing evidence that smoking has pharmacological effects that are of real value to smokers.
– President of Philip Morris, Inc., 1962

There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
– Albert Einstein, 1932

X-rays are a hoax.
– Lord Kelvin, ca. 1900

‘With regard to the electric light, much has been said for and against it, but I think I may say without contradiction that when the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it, and no more will be heard of it.’
– Erasmus Wilson,  Oxford University professor, 1878

Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is a ridiculous fiction.
– Pierre Pachet,  Professor Physiology, Toulouse, 1872

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