I must admit I’m partial to a particular type of quote - the one where an expert states something is impossible.
“Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”
Dr. Lee DeForest, Inventor of the triode amplifer radio valve, 1906
“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosive.”
Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project
“There is no likehood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”
Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
Popular Mechanics, 1949
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
“But what is it good for?”
Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
“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.
“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.
“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”
Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”
Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.
Nothing halts an argument as quickly as a dose of cold, hard facts.