This entry was posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Bicycle history, Bicycle technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
In 1895, Albert Einstein’s teacher said to his father: “It doesn’t matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.”
In 1911, Marshal Ferdinand Foch said: “Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.”
In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine said: “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
And in 1987, Peter Lumley, editor of a British bicycle trade magazine, said the newly-introduced Brompton shouldn’t win a ‘best of show’ prize because – a ’sad sign of the times’ - it was just a bike “you fold up and chuck in a car boot.”
As it happens, the Brompton did win the ‘best of show’ prize and went on to become the iconic legend we all know today.
David Henshaw, author of a forthcoming book on the Brompton, asked me to scan in the Brompton pages from my copy of the April 1987 Cycle Trader magazine. He told me: “I don’t think many people there that day would have guessed that 20 years later Brompton would be the only mass-produced bicycle to be made in the UK.”
Peter Lumley long ago recanted his dismissal of the Brompton. And those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones: also in 1987 I was asked by an industry magnate whether a standalone mountain bike magazine could work, I said no, and MBUK was launched soon thereafter. Shows you how much I know.