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Facts About Inventions and Inventors

By Edited Sep 30, 2016 1 10

Marconi’s Radio


Creativity can be undertaken if you take your mind to limits beyond the ordinary visible extremes. Now these extremes might appear to be ridiculous to some (in authority). Thus it becomes a test of your steel nerves to pursue your idea or to give it up.  Below are facts about some inventors who were ridiculed and discouraged  but their inner strength and faith in their idea motivated them to pursue, and to-day the world consider them as “great”, and genius”.

  1. Guglielmo Marconi ( 25 April 1874– 20 July 1937) was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission , for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is 
    Marconi In his Lab
    often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy"
  2. It may interest you to know that Marconi’s “friends “ had him taken into custody and examined in a psychopathic hospital , when he announced that he had discovered a principle  through which he could send messages through the air, without the aid of wires , or other physical means of  communication. Their minds were so closed to the possibility, that they thought their friend had gone mad. 

    Old Radio

3. "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value.   Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" - David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in  the radio in the 1920s.

Wright Brothers First Airplane

4. Wright Bros (flying machines)- After their Kitty Hawk success, The Wrights flew their machine in open fields next to a busy rail line in Dayton Ohio for almost an entire year. American authorities refused to come to the demos, and Scientific American Magazine published stories about "The Lying Brothers." Even the local Dayton newspapers never sent a reporter (but they did complain about all the letters they were receiving from local "crazies" who reported the many flights.) Finally the Wrights packed up, and moved to Europe, where they caused an over-night sensation, and sold aircraft contracts to France, Germany, Britain etc. About their remarkable invention, following are some comments by people of authority.)

Wright Brothers First Flight

5.  "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." - Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre. 

           6. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal                                  Society, 1895. 

      7. "It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago were   thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we     must turn elsewhere." (Thomas Edison, 1895)

    Lack of Faith

    8. In 1943, Tom Watson, chairman of IBM, said, “I think there is a world market , for may be five computers”. A statement that seems utterly ridiculous now, especially as there are some homes with that many.

         9.  "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949 

      Old Telephone

      10. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 

      11. "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, in regards to use of tanks in war (Ref: 

      12. In 1876 Gharam Bell invented telephone. Some remarks of a great company of the era were, "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.  The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876 

      13. This useless device may better be utilised in some circus”.

        14. Parker Bros. initially rejected inventor Clarence Darrow's board game Monopoly due to '52 fundamental playing errors'. He thought they were wrong so started production himself. Once the success of the formula became apparent, Parker Bros. decided to take on production after all. 

       15.  "All a trick."  "A Mere Mountebank."  "Absolute swindler."  "Doesn't know what he's about."  "What's the good of it?"  "What useful purpose will it serve?" - Members of Britain's Royal Society, 1926, after a demonstration of television. 

      16. The Bic pen was named after its French Inventor Marcel Bich. However they decided to drop the 'H' from the name fearing that the American market might pronounce the name 'Bitch'. 

      17. Edward Jenner was laughed at , and ridiculed when he claimed that if you took puss from a sick cow and poked a person's arm with it, it would somehow prevent the person from getting sick! It was the basis for all modern vaccination.

      Inventors and Inventions

      18. "Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress" – Sir William Siemens, 1880, on Edison's announcement of a successful light bulb. 

      19. "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time.  Nobody will use it, ever." - Thomas Edison, 1889. These were the comments of the great inventor, about another equally great but little less know scientist , who invented AC , and insisted that it is the current of the future. 

         20.   "There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable.  It wo

        Nuclear Energy(83651)
        uld mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."    -- Albert Einstein, 1932 while discussing the possible of using nuclear energy for peace and war purposes     

        21. The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing.  Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine" - Ernst Rutherford, 1933  

        Victory of Strong Will

        22. "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H.M. Warner, WarnerBrothers, 1927.

        23. We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. 

        24. "Space travel is bunk" -Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, 1957, two weeks before3 the launch of Sputnik 

           25. "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." - A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper  proposing reliable overnight delivery service.  (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)          



          Feb 9, 2012 2:01pm
          Hmmmmmmmmmm... a very interesting topic here ... Thnx 4 such a lovely share.. !!!
          Feb 9, 2012 2:18pm
          Hopefully such stories motivate and inspire others , and may be we get too many more "shy and hiding" inventors, making this place a better world.
          Feb 12, 2012 12:41am
          hmmmmmmm..... Yes ! well said ... may be :)
          Feb 13, 2012 12:35am
          In one of my earlier articles (The great author of Harry Potter) I had stated that the author of "Gone with the wind", wrote the novel and waited for about a decade before she mustard the courage to show it to somebody. I guess same is true about inventors. How do you think Marconic would have felt, when he discovered ether as a source of wireless communication and then found himself in psychiatric ward ?
          Feb 19, 2012 2:38pm
          Well yes ... Ironical situation ! But this is human nature to avoid change isn't it ? But still it is still the human struggle that we have prospered and are not living in caves anymore :)
          Feb 19, 2012 11:38pm
          If struggle was not in our genes, we probably would still be living in caves. But still some people are shy type, and consider showing their achievements to other as "not good". Before invention of TV etc, people had lots of time to meet others, now add the computer, and people are confined to their lonely cell. There is a need for more visible human interaction. But humans are humans---
          Feb 20, 2012 12:49pm
          interesting piece of writing ...
          Feb 23, 2012 9:15am
          I am glad that you liked it. Every man has some high and some low points, and these are some short stories of lives of some great inventions and inventors.
          Feb 27, 2012 3:43pm
          It is rather funny that Warner brothers could not realize the value of talking actors !
          Feb 28, 2012 11:30am
          Yes ! It looks strange, but then my whole article was about such strange thinking.
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          1. Wikipedia "Guglielmo arconi." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guglielmo_Marconi. 2012.
          2. Charles F. Haanel Mental Chemistry. Google: Google, 2012.
          3. ask.metafilter "Examples of vindicated Crazy Scientist." http://ask.metafilter.com/161663/Examples-of-vindicated-crazy-scientists. 07/Feburary/2012 <Web >
          4. Steve Shipside McCread Make More Money. google: google, 2012.
          5. Amasci "Laughed." http://amasci.com/freenrg/laughed.html. 07/Feburary/2012 <Web >
          6. John Dos Passos The Big Money. Newyork: Harcourt Brace, 1961.
          7. blog.vixra.org "Crackpots who were right." http://blog.vixra.org/category/crackpots-who-were-right/ ). 07/Feburary/2012 <Web >

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