In fact, Duell stated that in his opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the 20th century would witness. A middle-aged Duell even wished that he could live his life over again to see the wonders which were to come.
In 1904, Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre stated that, "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." Today, aircraft are heavily used in modern warfare.
"The Americans are good about making fancy cars and refrigerators, but that doesn't mean they are any good at making aircraft." This was a statement made in 1942 at the height of WW2, by the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe (German airforce), Hermann Goering. Well, we all know that Goering was on the losing side of that war, and that today the aviation industry is strong in the United States.
"We do not see that this device will be ever capable of sending recognizable speech over a distance of several miles. Hubbard and Bell want to install one of their telephone devices in every city. The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?.. ignoring the obvious limitations of his device, which is hardly more than a toy. This device is inherently of no use to us. We do not recommend its purchase."
And apparently there were scientific men of that time period that agreed with the British Parliament. When German-born English engineer and inventor, William Siemens heard about Edison's lightbulb in 1880, he remarked, "such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress." Scientist and president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, Henry Morton stated that, "Everyone acquainted with the subject [Edison's lightbulb] will recognize it as a conspicuous failure."
Today, we all know what radio is and have listened to a radio station. However, in 1913 a U.S. District Attorney began prosecution of DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company. The District Attorney stated that "Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company."