Invention Quotes


  • “All of the biggest technological inventions created by man – the airplane, the automobile, the computer – says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.”
    o Mark Kennedy

  • “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
    o Mary Lou Cook

  • “Discovery consists in seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
    o Albert Szent-Györgyi

  • “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.”
    o Henry S. Leigh, The Two Ages

  • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
    o Charles H. Duell

  • “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 (ch. XVI)
  • “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” -R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.” -Nikola Tesla 1896, inventor of alternating current
  • “Invention is the mother of necessity.” -Thorstein Veblen US economist & social philosopher (1857 – 1929)
  • “Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.” -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
  • “It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.” -John Stuart Mill
  • “Lo! Men have become the tools of their tools.” -Henry David Thoreau
  • “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)
  • “The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.” -“Saint-Exupéry”, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
  • “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” -Thomas Fuller, Holy and Profane States (bk. III, Of Fancy)
  • “Necessity, who is the mother of invention.” -Plato, The Republic, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC – 347 BC)
  • “Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is or should be an inventor.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims
  • “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.” – Jack Handy
  • “The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.” -Karl Marx
  • “Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation…tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.” -Jean Arp
  • “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” -Aldous Huxley
  • “Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” -Max Frisch
  • “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
  • “Want, the mistress of invention.” Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, The Busy Body (act I, sc. 1)
  • “We issued gorged with knowledge, and I spoke: ‘Why, Sirs, they do all this as well as we.” “They hunt old trails” said Cyril, “very well; But when did woman ever yet invent?'” -Lord Alfred Tennyson, Princess (II, l. 366)
  • “What the country needs are a few labor-making inventions.” -Arnold Glasow
  • “Everything that could have been invented has been patented” – Oscar Burke
  • “The most amazing and effective inventions are not those which do most honor to the human genius.” ~ Voltaire
  • “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” ~ Thomas Edison
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