Quotes Archive

We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.

- Thomas Edison

We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.

- Thomas Edison

What a man’s mind can create, man’s character can control.

- Thomas Edison

What you are will show in what you do.

- Thomas Edison

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

- Thomas Edison

When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.

- Thomas Edison

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.

- Thomas Edison

Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.

- Thomas Edison

Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability…. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.

- Thomas Edison

Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge….

- Thomas Edison

Vision without execution is just hallucination.

- Thomas Edison

Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.

- Thomas Edison

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy–sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

- Thomas Edison

We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.

- Thomas Edison

We have merely scratched the surface of the store of knowledge which will come to us. I believe that we are now, a-tremble on the verge of vast discoveries – discoveries so wondrously important they will upset the present trend of human thought and start it along completely new lines .

- Thomas Edison

There’s a way to do it better – find it.

- Thomas Edison

They say President Wilson has blundered. Perhaps he has, but I notice he usually blunders forward.

- Thomas Edison

Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose…

- Thomas Edison

To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.

- Thomas Edison

To have a great idea, have a lot of them.

- Thomas Edison

The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast.

- Thomas Edison

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

- Thomas Edison

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.

- Thomas Edison

To me, the idea and expectation that the day is slowly and surely coming when we will be able to honestly say we are our brother’s keeper and not his oppressor is very beautiful .

- Thomas Edison

The three things that are most essential to achievement are common sense, hard work and stick-to-it-iv-ness…..

- Thomas Edison

To my mind the old masters are not art, their value is in their scarcity.

- Thomas Edison

The United States, and other advanced nations, will someday be able to produce instruments of death so terrible the world will be in abject terror of itself and its ability to end civilization…. Such war-making weapons should be developed – but only for purposes of discovery and experimentation.

- Thomas Edison

Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, ‘the United States of America.’But it is hardly strange.Paine’s teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind.We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen.Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty.I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine’s writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it.Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine’s theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation’s leaders when they framed the Constitution.Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine….Then Paine wrote ‘Common Sense,’ an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession.In ‘Common Sense’ Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that ‘Common Sense’ preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour… Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken.

- Thomas Edison

The value of an idea lies in the using of it.

- Thomas Edison

There are no rules here — we’re trying to accomplish something.

- Thomas Edison

There is far more opportunity than there is ability.

- Thomas Edison

There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking.

- Thomas Edison

There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the labour ofthinking-if we bother with facts at all, we hunt like bird dogs after the facts thatbolster up what we already think-and ignore all the others! We want only the facts thatjustify our acts-the facts that fit in conveniently with our wishful thinking and justifyour preconceived prejudices!As Andre Maurois put it: Everything that is in agreement with our personal desiresseems true. Everything that is not puts us into a rage.Is it any wonder, then, that we find it so hard to get at the answers to our problems?Wouldn’t we have the same trouble trying to solve a second-grade arithmetic problem, ifwe went ahead on the assumption that two plus two equals five? Yet there are a lot ofpeople in this world who make life a hell for themselves and others by insisting that twoplus two equals five-or maybe five hundred!

- Thomas Edison

There is no substitute for hard work.

- Thomas Edison

There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever.

- Thomas Edison

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. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it….

- Thomas Edison

Personally, I enjoy working about 18 hours a day. Besides the short catnaps I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night.

- Thomas Edison

The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me….

- Thomas Edison

Pretty much everything will come to him who hustles while he waits. I believe that restlessness is discontent, and discontent is merely the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

- Thomas Edison

The most necessary task of civilization is to teach people how to think. It should be the primary purpose of our public schools. The mind of a child is naturally active, it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation.

- Thomas Edison

Religion is all bunk.

- Thomas Edison

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.

- Thomas Edison

Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

- Thomas Edison

The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.

- Thomas Edison

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 often a step forward….

- Thomas Edison

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

- Thomas Edison

So far as the religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake … Religion is all bunk.

- Thomas Edison

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

- Thomas Edison

Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory?Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past… The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power…Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that.Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells.There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural.

- Thomas Edison

Surprises and reverses can serve as an incentive for great accomplishment. There are no rules here, we’re just trying to accomplish something.

- Thomas Edison

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