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Quotations on Invention

James E. Burke
The coming of the printing press must have seemed as if it would turn the world upside down in the way it spread and, above all, democratized knowledge. Provide you could pay and read, what was on the shelves in the new bookshops was yours for the taking. The speed with which printing presses and their operators fanned out across Europe is extraordinary. From the single Mainz press of 1457, it took only twenty-three years to establish presses in 110 towns: 50 in Italy, 30 in Germany, 9 in France, 8 in Spain, 8 in Holland, 4 in England, and so on.

Charles H. Duell
Everything that can be invented has been invented.

Thomas A. Edison
Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.

George Gobel
If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.

Albert Gyorgyi
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Lyndon B. Johnson
The guns and bombs, the rockets and the warships, all are symbols of human failure.

Alphonse Karr
We can invent only with memory.

Charles F. Kettering
An inventor is simply a person who doesn't take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates form college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he's in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.

Andre Maurois
We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity—gunpowder and romantic love.

Joseph Newcomer
I don't mind occasionally having to reinvent a wheel; I don't even mind using someone's reinvented wheel occasionally. But it helps a lot if it is symmetric, contains no fewer than ten sides, and has the axle centered. I do tire of trapezoidal wheels with offset axles.

Mark Twain
Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors.


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