Time Essay: Putting Up with the Ugly Duckling

After the wheel was invented, some cave dwellers undoubtedly complained that ruts would ruin the footpaths. Many millenniums later, in the 1840s, farmers of New York's Suffolk County rebelled against another recent invention; they tore up railway tracks, put the torch to depots and caused wrecks by loosening rail ties. The iron horse was evil, they complained; its sparks set fields afire, its bells and noisy clatter shocked cows into withholding milk, and its soot soiled laundry. Decades later, the first autos were denounced for scaring horses and for spewing objectionable fumes.

Major technological...

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