"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
-- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1904(?)
"The horse is here to stay, the automobile is only a fad."
-- Advice of President of Michigan Savings Bank to Horace Rackham, lawyer for Henry Ford, 1903 (Rackham ignored the advice and invested $5000 in Ford stock, selling it later for $12.5 million)
"Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible."
-- Simon Newcomb, Canadian-born American astronomer, 1902
"Man will not fly for 50 years."
-- Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, to brother Orville, after a disappointing flying experiment, 1901 (their first successful flight was in 1903)
"I am tired of all this sort of thing called science here ... We have spent millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it should be stopped."
-- Simon Cameron, U.S. Senator, on the Smithsonian Institute, 1901
"If God had intended that man should fly, he would have given him wings."
-- Widely attributed to George W. Melville, chief engineer of the U.S. Navy, 1900
"The amount of misguided ingenuity which has been expended on these two problems of submarine and aerial navigation during the nineteenth century will offer one of the most curious and interesting studies to the future historian of technologic progress."
-- George Sutherland, American lawyer and author of 20th Century Inventions, 1900
"Radio has no future."
-- Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1897
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
-- Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895
"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
-- Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895(?)
"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."