Main Question or Discussion Point
I'm trying to (re-)collect the physical theories that once were considered as a correct description of reality and worked to a certain degree, but were subsequently dismissed. I would say that the geocentric epicycle theory of Ptolemy could be considered an example. It correctly describes the path planets trace on the sky, but is obviously wrong since heliocentrism is true. Another example could be Bohr's atomic model. It furnishes the energy levels of the hydrogen atom. Later Sommerfeld extended it to electron elliptic orbits and was able to obtain further fine spectral lines of the H atom. And yet this model is no more than a historical curiosity. I suspect that there are many other examples of theories that seemed to 'save the appearances' but didn't work out. Can you tell of others?