Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.
Adolphus Greely, a brigadier general, was one of the first people outside the car industry to consider the usefulness of a "horseless carriage." He bought three cars in 1899 for the U.S. Army to experiment with. It was envisioned to be used as transportation of light artillery such as machine guns, to carry equipment, ammunition, and supplies.
The Wright brothers saw the prospects of their new flying machine to be used as a reconnoitering agent in a time of war. The U.S. Army purchased the first "flyer" in 1908.