Everything that can be invented has been invented.»
Charles H. Duell, an official at the US patent office, 1899.
«Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.»
Henry Morton, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison's light bulb, 1880.
«That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.»
Scientific American, Jan. 2 edition, 1909.
«Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.»
Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.
«Radio has no future.»
Lord Kelvin, Scottish mathematician and physicist, former president of the Royal Society, 1897.
«Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.» -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955
«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.
«The cinema is little more than a fad. It's canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage." -– Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916.
«It's a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?»
Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. President, after a demonstration of Alexander Bell's telephone, 1876.
«While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.»
Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926.
As you may well know, Mr. President, 'railroad' carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by 'engines' which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.»
Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1830.
«Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.»
Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.
«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.
«X-rays will prove to be a hoax.»
Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.
«The phonograph has no commercial value at all.»
Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1880s.
«Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.»
Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889