Sunday, May 11, 2008

The urban legend of the Duell quote continues

The second quote on Top 87 Bad Predictions about the Future on 2spare is:

«Everything that can be invented has been invented.»
Charles H. Duell, an official at the US patent office, 1899.

Sadly, as IPBiz has noted before, this quote is an urban legend. It did not happen.

See for example a post on IPBiz in the year 2005: "Wrong expert prediction" site starts with fake quote of Duell

2spare did have a Civil War quote: «They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-»
Last words of Gen. John Sedgwick, spoken as he looked out over the parapet at enemy lines during the Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864.

There was something about the Smithsonian: «I am tired of all this sort of thing called science here... We have spent millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it should be stopped.»
Simon Cameron, U.S. Senator, on the Smithsonian Institute, 1901.

One does recall the unfortunate tie-in between the Smithsonian and Langley's Aerodrome, which kept the Wright Flyer out of the Smithsonian until after 1947.

The Duell quote also appears on

Bad Predictions About Great Inventions at scribd

***Of the old patent office building -->

Look to the right and down 8th Street, Boasberg says, and Obama will see the place where the Old Patent Office was located. Sick and dying Union soldiers were laid out between patent-display cases during the Civil War. Lincoln often stopped by to offer comfort to the troops. Lincoln also held his second Inaugural Ball at this location.


Post a Comment

<< Home