Science: Those Were the Days

Just after the turn of the century, a Swiss patent-office clerk published an abstruse theory of relativity. The world of science and invention was, for the moment, unmoved. Those were the days when Henry Ford was still a struggling manufacturer gambling on the future of a mechanical curiosity. The Wright brothers were coaxing their first plane into brief and tentative flights over the sand dunes at Kitty Hawk. A Frenchman was prepared to turn out an automatic hat-tipper for use with the narrow-brimmed derbies of the period. And a Detroit doctor, after diligent...

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