What if movies had no sound? Hard to imagine it nowadays, but that was the case 100 years ago. It wasn't until Lee de Forest's invention in 1923 that sound on film became a reality.
All credit to de Forest, but he was not the real inventor. That would be Joseph Tykocinski-Tykociner (say that three times fast), a Polish Jew, whose breakthrough preceded de Forest's by a year. Alas, his name is usually lost to history, and not because it's so hard to spell.
For whatever reason, Tykocinski-Tykociner's work was dismissed by the industry; back in 1922, movie bigwigs did not think that sound on film was a good idea. So the inventor, who was also involved in a patent dispute with his employer, the University of Illinois, retreated to the background. In a few years, de Forest's "phonofilm" and other advances ushered movies into the age of talkies.
So, despite Tykocinski-Tykociner (now we've said it three times) not being directly responsible for sound on film, one must give credit when credit is due. As for those movie executives who dismissed his idea... well, removing sound would improve all of Michael Bay's pictures, we'll give you that.