Yesterday's Failed Ideas Are Today's Great Inventions

A look back at when today's technologies were way ahead of their time

1 min read

Randi Klett is the Photo Director at IEEE Spectrum.

Photos: Left, Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Right, imagetwo/iStockphoto
In 1928, a woman dried her hair with a big, intimidating contraption; now she can use a handheld device.

When a new idea comes along, people often don’t know what to make of it. That's why so many inventions begin as light diversions and reach the development stage only much later, when applications finally suggest themselves. In this view, though necessity is still the mother of invention, whimsy is just as assuredly its father.

The Conversation (0)