A new gadget that lasts only five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.
Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors.
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.
Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Fear is a great inventor.
Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.
I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.
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.
If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.
In my own time there have been inventions of this sort, transparent windows tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building short-hand, which has been carried to such a perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker. But the inventing of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves; philosophy lies deeper. It is not her office to teach men how to use their hands. The object of her lessons is to form the soul.
Interest is the spur of the people, but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age.
Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.
Invention strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory; nothing can come from nothing.
Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.
It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes.
Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world.
That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best –make it all up –but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.
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.