Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Forecasts? You want forecasts?

A new source of power... called gasoline has been produced by a Boston engineer. Instead of burning the fuel under a boiler, it is exploded inside the cylinder of an engine.

The dangers are obvious. Stores of gasoline in the hands of people interested primarily in profit would constitute a fire and explosive hazard of the first rank. Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action even if the military and economic implications were not so overwhelming... [T]he cost of producing [gasoline] is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry... In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture.
- U. S. Congressional Record, 1875.


More excellent quotes here.

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