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

When one thinks of inventors, it's hard not to picture Thomas Edison, who is responsible for the title quote.


Frank Morton Todd, The Story of the Exposition, San Francisco. Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915. 1915. Thomas A. Edison Receiving the Exposition Medal, Volume 3, plate opposite page 150.


But I also found some other interesting quotes on the subject, perfect for National Inventor's Day (which is in honor of Mr. Edison.)

“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 … Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”—Nikola Tesla

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist of creating out of void, but out of chaos”—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

“The greatest inventions were produced in the times of ignorance, as the use of the compass, gunpowder, and printing”—Jonathan Swift

“Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.”—Ambrose Bierce

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”—Leonardo da Vinci

“These are bagpipes. I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.”—Alfred Hitchcock

Elizabeth Periale

One Comment

  1. […] likely followed the credo of Thomas A. Edison, a father figure to so many American inventors, when he said in 1915: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of […]

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