In Pictures: So crazy it just might work

11 successful technology ideas that were scorned (initially)

Alternating current As the Reis incident suggests, sometimes public reaction to a new idea is influenced by the competition. In the 1880s, lawmakers and the general public literally feared the use of alternating current (AC) for electric power distribution. AC power was considered dangerous, largely due to an orchestrated public relations campaign by Thomas Edison, who had financial interests in the competing direct current (DC) model. Edison even went so far as to stage public electrocutions of animals to freak people out about alternating current. These demonstrations later led to the invention of the electric chair.

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