This was originally published on Pessimists Archive.

At the end of the 1920s airplanes were becoming a more common sight in the skies, in 1928 The New York Times reported on growing disdain, comparing it to past reactions to transport innovations.

The piece was subtitled “A Skeptical Nation Visits Upon the Airplane the Doubts it Once Felt for the Automobile,” and we had a voice actor read the entire thing aloud. Hear it here.

We also turned this episode of Pessimists Aloud Podcast into an article for GroundTruthAutonomy.Com, excerpt below:

When the Wright Brothers proved manned flight possible in the early 1900s, the prospect of mass commercial air travel still felt distant and fantastical. It may have been technically possible, yes, but it was certainly not inevitable.  Only nine weeks prior to the Wright Brothers first controlled-powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, the New York Times ridiculed those attempting such a feat in a piece headlined, “The Flying Machines Which Do Not Fly,” positing it could take between one million to ten million years for humans to achieve flight.
Two decades later, as airplanes were becoming a common sight in the skies,  and mass commercial air travel was transitioning from science fiction to science fact, this new form of transportation was still eliciting some strong reactions in both the public and the press…