“It will be years —not in my time— before a woman will become Prime Minister.”
—Margaret Thatcher, October 26th, 1969.
“That virus [HIV] is a pussycat.”
—Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, 1988
“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”
—Associates of Edwin L. Drake refusing his suggestion to drill for oil in 1859.
“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
—New York Times, 1936
“Reagan doesn’t have that presidential look.”
—United Artists Executive, rejecting Reagan as lead in 1964 film The Best Man.
“The singer [Mick Jagger] will have to go; the BBC won’t like him.”
—- First Rolling Stones manager Eric Easton to his partner after watching them perform.
“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
—Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859)
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
—Lord Kelvin, 1895.
“There will never be a bigger plane built.”
—A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.
“Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I ever heard.”
— Tris Speaker, baseball hall of famer, talking about Babe Ruth, 1919.
“Ours has been the first [expedition], and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality.”
—— Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.
“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”
—W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954.
“You better get secretarial work or get married.”
—Emmeline Snively, advising would-be model Marilyn Monroe in 1944.