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

Photos: Left, Central Press/Getty Images; Right, U.S. Air Force
This 1954 vertical-takeoff craft, dubbed the Flying Bedstead, is a forerunner of the U.S. Marine Corps Osprey, here seen in an Air Force modification. The aircraft lifts off like a helicopter, then flies like a plane.

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.

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