Thomas Edison is revered by many schoolchildren as the father of invention. More precisely, he was present at the invention of many things we use today, for which he filed lots of patents: 1,093 in the US alone. When the news got out that Edison was developing the first practical electric light bulb, not everyone was impressed. A British Parliament Committee noted in 1878 that Edison's light bulb was good enough for our Transatlantic friends... but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men. Similarly, a chief engineer for the British Post Office said that the subdivision of the electric light is an absolute ignis fatuus. In other words, a fairy tale. A sham. Coffee was first popularly used by Sufi Muslims to stay awake during their nighttime devotions. When the drink was introduced to the public in the Middle East, it was a miracle — people were finding more time in their day to create, discuss, and spread ideas. But throughout the 1500s, different schools of thought began to shun coffee for various reasons — the drink was thought to induce a form of drunkenness, and coffeehouses were considered meeting centers for reactionaries. Some even suggested it was causing common diseases. Today, coffee might be making our lives longer and the world's most valuable coffee company is even spiking our drinks with gases. We've come a long way.The Wright Brothers made headlines when they flew the first airplane in 1903. The flight lasted for some 12 seconds. In 1911, Ferdinand Foch, a French general and Allied Commander during World War I, said, Airplanes are interesting scientific toys, but they are of no military value. A mere eight years after Foch said that, a Curtiss seaplane made the first trip across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to Portugal. UAVs (aka drones), while not planes, wouldn't be the same without the proven success of military planes. In the early 1750s, people hurled trash and insults at the first man who used an umbrella in British streets. According to Atlas Obscura, the man, named Jonas Hanway, brought the umbrella back after a recent trip to France. But the umbrella, then known as a waterproof, lightweight version of the more feminine parasol, had yet to shed its gendered associations. Hanway was ridiculed by coach drivers who felt threatened by his device. It took until the late 1700s for the umbrella to come into vogue. That's a pretty long time if you know how rainy Britain can get.For a time, people feared computers. The 1996 book Women and Computers claimed women were afflicted with what it called computerphobia, a panoply of conditions that reflected a fear of touching or damaging the computer, and an aversion to discussing or reading about it. The book also reported that women felt threatened by the computer and were afraid of becoming a slave to it. The Atlantic found that computerphobia popped up in magazines in the 1980s. But aside from the outlandish fears, people also treated owning and using a personal computer the same way you'd learn an instrument — as a chore. Today, we're getting better and better at making computers more user friendly and intuitive. But it's easy to forget that there was a time when none of it, really, was accessible at all.In the early 1900s, taxi cabs were hit or miss. Drivers could charge you whatever they wanted, so you couldn't really trust the person behind the wheel — even ex-convicts could become taxi drivers. But that story changed with a grudge. In 1907, Harry N. Allen, a 30-year-old businessman, was charged $5 for a three-quarter-mile ride in Manhattan (a $128.50 fare by today's estimates). He then bought a fleet of 65 red French Darracq taxi cabs and hired a team of drivers. It was the first modern taxi fleet. While taxis were still only affordable for the well-to-do at 50 cents per mile ($12.80 today), Allen's system was much better than the former one, since it eliminated price gouging. And when the taxi medallion system was instated in New York in 1937, the government began regulating who could own or operate taxis. Today, taxi cabs make get nearly 400,000 trips a day in New York, twice as many as Uber and Lyft combined.Before anti-vaxxers, there were antivaccinationists (a name that certainly doesn't roll off the tongue). But their ideas and sentiments were basically the same. Anti-vaccinationists were mostly against the laws requiring immunizations — they argued in favor of personal bodily control and the freedom to opt out of state-mandated vaccinations. When a smallpox outbreak in the US in the 1870s led to a call for vaccination campaigns, at least two Anti-Vaccine Leagues started in response. One man, who was a member of the Anti-Vaccine League in Boston, fought his way through local and Supreme courts to stay un-vaccinated. He lost both cases — little did he know that smallpox would be considered eradicated by 1980. The debate around vaccinations continues today, though the practice is widely considered crucial to advancing public health.