Thursday, January 24, 2008

So did They

Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition.»
Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962.

[By 1985], machines will be capable of doing any work Man can do.»
Herbert A. Simon, of Carnegie Mellon University - considered to be a founder of the field of artificial intelligence - speaking in 1965.

The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.»
IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.

I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.»
HG Wells, British novelist, in 1901.

X-rays will prove to be a hoax.»
Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

Very interesting Whittle, my boy, but it will never work.»
Cambridge Aeronautics Professor, when shown Frank Whittle's plan for the jet engine.

The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.»
Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916.
Caterpillar landships are idiotic and useless. Those officers and men are wasting their time and are not pulling their proper weight in the war.
Fourth Lord of the British Admiralty, 1915.

What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.»
Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton's steamboat, 1800s.

The phonograph has no commercial value at all.»
Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1880s.

If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said 'you can't do this'.»
Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.»
Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).

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