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Thomas Edison Quotes

My main purpose in life is to make money so that I can afford to go on creating more inventions.... 

Because ideas have to be original only with regard to their adaptation to the problem at hand, I  am always interested in novel ideas that others have used successfully.... I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it. 

A good idea is never lost. Even though its originator or possessor may die, it will someday be reborn in the mind of another....Accordingly, my principal business is giving commercial value to the brilliant but misdirected ideas of others....  

Because I readily absorb ideas from every source - frequently starting where the last person left off - I am sometimes accurately described as 'more of a sponge than an inventor....'

I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.... I want to save and advance human life, not destroy it.... I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill... The dove is my emblem.... 

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. As a result, a  genius is often a talented person who has simply done all of his homework."  

  • Because thinking is often hard work, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the labor that is associated with it....  If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves....

  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. It is astonishing how many have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work.... 

  • The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and  physical energies to the problem at hand without growing weary. I never did anything worth doing entirely by accident.... and almost none of my inventions came about totally by accident. They were achieved by having trained myself to endure and tolerate hard work.

  • The three things that are most essential to achievement are common sense, hard work and stick-to-it-ive-ness.....  Unfortunately, many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. I have far more respect for the person with a single idea who gets there than for the person with a thousand ideas who does nothing.... Pretty much everything will come to him who hustles while he waits.   

  • Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. I believe that restlessness is discontent, and discontent is merely the first necessity of progress....  

  • Unfortunately, there seems to be  far more opportunity out there than ability.... Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with preparation. Often, all you need to be an inventor is a good imagination and a pile of junk....  

  • "If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value."

  • Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do in the first place doesn't mean it's useless....Surprises and reverses should be an incentive to great accomplishment. Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is just one more step forward....  There are no rules here, we're just trying to accomplish something.

  •  As a cure for worrying, work is far better than whiskey. I always found that - when worrying - the best thing I could do was to focus attention upon something useful and work hard at it.... I would soon forget what was troubling me. The only time I really become discouraged is when I think of all the things I would like to do and the little time I have in which to do them. 

  • Its worry that kills and not hard work. Barring accidents, of course - if you are not preoccupied with worry and you work hard - you can look forward to a reasonably lengthy  existence. 

  • The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast. Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose... 

  • From his neck down a man is worth a couple of dollars a day, from his neck up he is worth anything that his brain can produce.

  • Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.... "Its obvious that we don't know one millionth of one percent about anything. 

  • I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.  

  • The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.

  • Whatever the mind of man creates, should be controlled by man's character. 

  • Someday man will harness the rise and fall of the tides, imprison the power of the sun, and release atomic power. 

  • The United States, and other advanced nations, will someday be able to produce instruments of death so terrible that the world would be in abject terror of itself and its ability to end civilization.... Such war-making weapons should be developed - but only for discovery and experimental purposes... There should be no such manufacturing in quantity.

  • Hopefully, the day is coming when we will be truly able to say "we our brother's keeper" and not his oppressor.

  • Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America  has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation.... Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward!

  •  The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me.... Life's most soothing things are a child's goodnight and sweet music .... Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph best...."

The Phonograph