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Founders and senators of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in civil government, were honored but with titles of worthies or demigods; whereas such as were inventors and authors of new arts, endowments, and commodities towards man's life, were ever consecrated among the gods themselves.
- Francis Bacon
The introduction of noble inventions seems to hold by far the most excellent place among human actions.
- Francis Bacon
A tool is but the extension of a man's hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. And he that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well-being of mankind.
- Henry Ward Beecher,
Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit--Business
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
- Bible, Ecclesiastes (ch. VII, v. 29)
It is not true, it is a happy invention.
[It., Se non e vere e ben trovato.]
- Giordano Bruno, Gli Froici Furori
Getting caught is the mother of invention.
- Robert Byrne
Put two things together which have never been put together before, and some schmuck will buy it.
- George Carlin
Want, the mistress of invention.
- Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, The Busy Body
(act I, sc. 1)
Invention is not so much the result of labor as of judgment.
- Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon
The golden hour of invention must terminate like other hours, and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions behold him as one of themselves--the creature of habits and infirmities.
- Isaac D'Israeli,
Literary Character of Men of Genius
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
- Charles H. Duell,
questionably attributed to
Our inventions mirror our secret wishes.
- Lawrence George Durrell
It is frivolous to fix pedantically the date of particular inventions. They have all been invented over and over fifty times. Man is the arch machine, of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models. He helps himself on each emergency by copying or duplicating his own structure, just so far as then need is.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is or should be an inventor.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Letters and Social Aims--Quotation and Originality
The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
- Harry Emerson Fosdick
Take the advice of a faithful friend, and submit thy inventions to his censure.
- Thomas Fuller (1), Holy and Profane States
(bk. III, Of Fancy)
If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.
- George Gobel
Invention is totally independent of the will.
- Benjamin Robert Haydon
A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
We invent what we love, and what we fear.
- John Irving
Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.
- Thomas Jefferson
Electric telegraphs, printing, gas,
Tobacco, balloons, and steam,
Are little events that have come to pass
Since the days of the old regime.
And, spite of Lempriere's dazzling page,
I'd give--though it might seem bold--
A hundred years of the Golden Age
For a year of the Age of Gold.
- Henry Sambooke Leigh, The Two Ages
Before then any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.
- Abraham Lincoln,
in his Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions, Jacksonville, Illionois, February 11, 1859
The cocktail party is easily the worst invention since castor oil.
- Elsa Maxwell
Th' invention all admir'd, and each, how he
To be th' inventor miss'd; so easy it seem'd,
Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought
- John Milton
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