Horseless carriages

Back 100 years ago, those motorized carriages made so much noise when they puttered along, they scared the horses. So in 1894, Vermont passed a law that said if you drove on a public road, you had to send somebody ahead to warn the buggy traffic.

That made sense. But unfortunately, motorcars and horses never worked well as road partners. The four-legged kind used less fuel, but you can’t air condition a horse. So, gradually, cars took over family transportation chores.

The secret: Many inventions are hybrids…the coupling of prior technologies. Examples: movies (pictures and recorded sound) and bifocal glasses (combined distance and magnifying lenses).

Published by

Rix Quinn

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and California State University.

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