It Can’t Be Done!

Creating new ideas and solving problems new ideas can be intimidating and easy to dismiss.  Many times our initial automatic reaction to a new idea is to reject it but deferring judgment and considering new ideas can increase positive results.  The fallowing list illustrates new things that some rejected without stopping to thoughtfully consider.

Things people believed could not be done…

• The first successful cast-iron plow invented in the United States in 1797 was rejected by New Jersey farmers under the theory that cast iron poisoned the land and stimulated growth of weeds.

• An eloquent divine in the United States declared that the introduction of the railroad would require the building of many insane asylums, as people would go mad with terror at the sight of locomotives running across the country.

• In Germany it was proven that if trains went at the frightful speed of 15 miles an hour, blood would spurt from the travelers’ noses and the passengers would suffocate going through tunnels.

• Commodore Vanderbilt the legendary American industrialist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads dismissed Westinghouse and his new airbrakes for trains with the remark that he had not time to waste on fools.

• Those who loaned Robert Fulton money for his steamboat project stipulated that their names be withheld, for fear of ridicule were it known that they supported such anything so “foolhardy”

• In 1881 when New York YWCA announced typing lessons for women, vigorous protests were made on the grounds that the female constitution would break down under the strain.

• Men insisted that iron ships would not float, that they would damage more easily than wooden ships when grounding, that it would be difficult to preserve the iron bottoms from rust, and that iron would deflect the compass.

• Joshua Coppersmith was arrested in Boston for trying to sell stock in the telephone.  “All well informed people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over a wire”.  

• The editor of the Springfield Republic refused an invitation to ride in an early automobile, claiming it was incompatible with the dignity of his position.

• Chauncey M. Depew confessed that he warned his nephew not to invest $5,000 in Ford stocks because “nothing has come along to beat the horse”.

• When in 1907, Deforest put the radio tube in workable form, he was not able to sell his patent and let it lapse rather than pay $25 for its renewal.

• Scientist Simon Newcomb said in 1906 just as success for the airplane was in the offing, “the demonstration that no combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force can be united in a practical machine by which men shall fly, deems to the writer as complete as it is possible for the demonstration of any physical act to be”.

• Henry Morton, the president of Stevens Institute of Technology, protested against the trumpeting of results of Edison’s experiments in electric lighting as a “wonderful success” when “everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure”.

• When Rayon was first put on the market, a committee appointed by silk manufacturers to study its possibilities declared it as a transient fad.

• When Buffington took out patents for the steel frame skyscraper in 1888, the Architectural News predicted that the expansion and contraction of iron would crack all the plaster, eventually leaving only the shell.

• Small town bankers refused for many years to lend money on tractors on the grounds that they were a menace to framers.

• “Exposure to radio frequencies may make humans toothless, hairless, and insane. This garment will protect people from these dangers. It will take the form of a rubber coat, with a helmet of the same material. The entire face will have to be kept covered, goggles being provided for the purpose of sight, and an air valve for breathing purposes.”  Source: The Atlantic Constitution, April 30, 1911

This may also be of interest….

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