Popular Mechanics (July 1907, pp. 739-742) announced Louis Brennan’s proposed monorail system with great excitement; later, it was a triumphant success at the Japan–British Exhibition (1910), dazzling (among others) Winston Churchill and winning the Grand Prize! Predictions of speeds in excess of 150mph were advanced, but Brennan’s patented system was never adopted by any major customer.

In fact, monorails only ever featured as futuristic novelties, save in Japan. One of the biggest obstacles they faced was the increasingly popular private automobile.

It is one of life’s great ironies that Loius Brennan died after being knocked down by a car in Montreux in 1932.

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