The twentieth century was a time of great technological advances, discoveries and innovations. We went from horses and carts to cars and space travel, from the boys-messengers to the phone and Internet, from candles to nuclear energy. And yet, despite such rapid advances in technology and changes very surprising was the fact that many experts initially failed to appreciate the great inventions that ultimately have shaped our modern society. A number are preserved in the time of the famous quotes by the same inventors, the media and world leaders about which we will talk about today, is well demonstrated. Looking at these statements now, you’re well aware of how very wrong the people who made them.
Nobody wants to have a home computer
Probably, it is strange to read this statement sitting at the computer. Personal computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones have become an integral part of our daily life. In the world today, billions of devices connected to the Internet. So, of course, very strange to realize that even some of the pioneers of modern computer technologies initially did not believe in the upcoming success of their inventions.
In 1943 Thomas Watson, President of IBM said: “I think that on the world market will be a place for maybe five computers.” While working on vacuum electronic tubes and bulbs computer system was truly a giant, it is not surprising that some might have thought that only a small number of people around the world want to have these things at home. However, it is likely that the phrase, said Watson, was initially taken out of context (and some say that he is never uttered). It is possible that his statement was treated to a huge national data centres, occupying a really large space in the premises, and not to microcomputers, which he could, at that time didn’t even know existed and which we use today.
However, the technical founder of the Corporation, had a hand in developing the world’s first personal computers was not the only person underestimated the potential of public interest to “be in touch”. In 1977 Ken Olson, founder and President of the Corporation Digital Equipment Corp. decided to repeat the mistake of Watson and said: “no one may need to have a computer in their home”.
Today the world’s personal computers use more than two billion people, and more than three billion people daily surf the Internet.
Television is just a fad
Today, many complain that they are bored with the TV, although not to the same extent as it was describing one of the pioneers of modern cinema in the 1940-ies. By that time, as television began to gain real popularity, Darryl Zanuck, one of the founders of kinokompanii 20th Century Fox, has already managed to put a hand in the creation of more than 100 films. Mechanical televisions appeared in 1920-ies, but they had only a few thousand people, since the device was pretty expensive. That all changed with the advent of the USA TV sets with cathode-ray tube in 1938, it was then that they began to gain their popularity.
Very amusing seems the fact that the pioneer of modern cinema have considered TV as a regular coming and going of fun. In 1946, in an interview, Zanuck said: “Appearing on any market, TVs will not be able to survive more than 6 months. People very quickly get tired of staring at plywood boxes every night.”
Today at least one TV is 1.4 billion homes around the world.
It is hard to imagine a world without phones, the world of communication was used not phones, but only “snail” mail and bellboys. However, some experts in communication technology at the time failed to see the importance and potential of the new technology, when Alexander Graham bell patented his telephone (according to some historical records, the primacy in this invention, still belongs to the Italian Antonio Meucci, but that’s not the point).
His patent application for a modern bell telephone filed in 1876. However, his well-deserved interest in the device received not at once. Bella when you try to sell your patent for the invention of Western Union Telegraph Company President William Orton said that “the telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication”.
A similar assessment of the device in the 1890-ies gave an electrical engineer and inventor William Henry Preece, saying: “the Americans may need a phone, but we’re not. We have enough boys-messengers”.
Today, the world uses about 7 billion phones.
High speed rail impossible
In the early 1800-ies of transportation by railroads was pretty slow. But with the development of technology trains started to become faster and industry experts began to sound the alarm, declaring the dangers of rail travel for health. “Cause brain problem”, “cause vertigo” are just a couple of examples among a large list of ailments which were connected with the introduction of faster transport. In 1823, Irish writer, physicist, mathematician, popularizer of science Dionysius Lardner stated: “high-speed trains is impossible because passengers they will not be able to breathe and will die of asphyxia” (in fairness, we note that historians still argue about whether or not he said this).
A similar lack of faith in the prospects of the Railways showed the king of Prussia Wilhelm I, when he opened a branch of the Berlin-Potsdam. He said that no one will use this transport. “Nobody wants to pay the money for the trip from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour, if you can a horse to get there for the day, but free”.
If they knew that after some time, millions of people around the world would use daily the metro, and the same Japanese trains to transport people at a speed of several hundred kilometers per hour.
The horse will remain forever
First really used a car with a gasoline engine rolled out on the road in 1885, when German inventor Karl Benz introduced the world to the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. But this transport has become really popular only after Henry Ford introduced his famous Model T — the most common car of that era.
However, not all saw the incredible potential of motor vehicles. On the contrary, many believed that the car will never be cheap and therefore will not be able to buy EN masse. Many expressed fears about the safety of this mode of transport, considering that the car has too high speed (23 km / h). All this had led us to believe that the car will never replace the still used at that time as a primary means of locomotion of horses.
In 1903, Ford turned to my lawyer and businessman Horace Rekhema with a proposal to invest in a car company. President of Michigan Savings Bank advised Rekhema not to do it: “the Horse will always, and the car is just fun, temporary fad.”
In the world today uses more than one billion cars.
Communications satellites do not need
Our modern village with a Land size relies on the work of communication satellites located in orbit. Without them we will not be able to communicate with each other. The satellites relay the signals, so we can daily go online, use mobile networks, TV and radio. So it seems incredible that the pioneers of the technology of digital communication literally rejected the possibility that all that we ever will.
As an officer in the U.S. Navy, Tunis Craven helped in the development of the radio technologies. He twice was appointed to the Federal communications Commission of the United States. The second time was in the beginning of 1960-ies, when between America and the Soviet Union sparked the space race.
Shortly after the launch of the first Soviet satellites Craven in 1961, tried to convince the Commission that “communications satellites will not under any circumstances will not be able to provide better telephone, Telegraph, television and radio in the United States.”
Just three years after this statement, the Americans were able for the first time to enjoy the live broadcast of the summer Olympic games in Japan, thanks to new communication satellite Syncom 3.
Most people in the world have mobile phones. The first practical device was developed during the Second world war and was used in the field on technology. Technology eventually was used in expensive civilian vehicles, and basic communication, the company began searching for ways to make the mobile phone a truly portable device.
In 1973 Martin Cooper, a researcher from Motorola made the first call from a handheld mobile device. Taking the unit weight of 1.1 kilograms, a length of 30 centimeters and shaped like a brick, Cooper took to the streets of Manhattan and dialed his rival in the company Bell to announce that he is calling from a mobile device. However, the Cooper misjudged his invention. In 1981, he said: “Cell phones absolutely will never replace fixed wired system.”
Today, a typical home phones have become the dinosaurs gradually, the comfort of use. Most people have long relied on mobile communications devices.
Nuclear power is impossible
Albert Einstein was the greatest physicist of the twentieth century. Even the losers ever heard of his General theory of relativity and famous formula E = mc2, expressing the equivalence of mass and energy.
Einstein also made a fundamental contribution to the development of nuclear energy and subsequently, the creation of a nuclear bomb. But even the great scientist was not able to see the potential of his discovery. In 1934, he said: “there is Not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be subject to man. This would mean that the atom will disintegrate at will”.
In 1938, German scientists discovered the process of nuclear fission. This in turn led to the development of a nuclear bomb, and construction of more than 450 nuclear power plants around the world.
Alternating current is a waste of time
In the 1880s two inventors were involved in the electrical war of currents. Thomas Edison, known for his invention of the light bulb, the phonograph and kinescope worked on the constant current source. His rival and former student of Nikola Tesla worked at the same time over an AC power source, allows you to transfer large amounts of energy over a long distance. Edison argued that alternating current, Tesla was too dangerous to use: “AC – what nonsense? No one and will never use,” he said.
In our days a constant current is used to charge the same battery, alternating current Tesla feeds the cities around the world.
Online shopping is a bubble
For younger generation it would be difficult today to imagine a world without online shopping. But there were times when the only alternative to a trip to the nearest boutique and spending several hours on the selection of panties and bras had the opportunity to order the directory with the right products, and then use the same email to purchase the right things.
Since in 1994, was made the first purchase via the Internet, this method is gaining popularity among many people. Now you can easily order to your doorstep almost anything. Ranging from fresh food to cars. However, in 1966, Time magazine published an article which tried to predict what could be our life in 2000-m to year.
The article claimed that “remote shopping, though it will be possible, but women will still prefer to get out for awhile from home. Because they like to feel the merchandise like that at any time they can change their mind and refrain from buying this or that thing”.
Not only that, by contemporary standards this statement is quite contradictory, and it would be difficult today to find someone who is willing to give up the convenience of buying things through the Internet. Surely each of you at least once bought something online.
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