Consider these examples of resistance to ideas and inventions that we now consider commonplace:
- In Germany, ‘experts’ proved that if trains went as fast as 15 miles per hour–considered a frightful speed–blood would spurt from the traveler’s noses and passengers would suffocate when going through tunnels. In the United States, experts said the introduction of the railway would require the building of many insane asylums since people would be driven mad with terror at the sight of the locomotives.
- The New York YWCA announced typing lessons for women in 1881 and vigorous protests erupted on the grounds that the female constitution would break down under the strain.
- When the idea of iron ships was proposed, experts insisted that they would not float, would damage more easily than wooden ships when grounding, that it would be difficult to preserve the iron bottom from rust, and that iron would play havoc with compass readings.
- New Jersey farmers resisted the first successful cast-iron plough, invented in 1797, claiming that the cast iron would poison the land and stimulate the growth of weeds.