So, you want 30 inspiring quotes from inventors eh? Well, welcome my friend. The ability to look at the world in new and unique ways is the hallmark of a great mind. Some of the entries in the following list have changed our society incalculably through their development of new ideas and technology. The list includes notable inventors, engineers, and scientists who broadly fall under the label of "inventor". It might be worth us taking stock of what they have to say on the subject, don't you think?
So without further ado let's jump in. The following are in no particular order, unless by the same person, and are not a "best" or "top" list. Enjoy!
Alexander Graham Bell
Our first quotes from inventors entry are from Alexander Graham Bell. He was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor and engineer often credited with inventing the first usable telephone amongst many other things.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver was an American botanist and inventor whose reputation is largely grounded in his promotion of alternative crops to cotton and innovative uses for the peanut.
"Education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom.”
Freeman Dyson is an English-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician whose work has largely centered around quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.
"Aviation is the branch of engineering that is least forgiving of mistakes."
"A good scientist is a person with original ideas. I good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering."
Our next entry on our quotes from inventors is from Thomas Edison. To some, he is more of a businessman than an inventor but his work on practical incandescent electric light bulbs and phonographs plus thousands of patents cannot go unrecognized.
“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
Well, what more do we need to say? Most famous for his work in theoretical physics and his Theory of Relativity, his work changed the game for scientists for many decades to come.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun."
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
"The difference between genius and stupidity is, genius has its limits."
Richard Feynman was an American physicist best known for his work in quantum mechanics and particle physics. He was an integral part of the Manhattan project.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
Benjamin Franklin was a prolific inventor and one of the founding fathers of the United States. It might be worth heading his advice, don't you think?
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
"Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out."
"Many people die at 25 and aren't buried until they are 75." - Sadly still true today.
Perhaps more of an "organizer" than an inventor per se, his labors helped revolutionize industrial processes forever.
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."
"The short successes that can be gained in a brief time and without difficulty are not worth much."
As co-founder of Apple, his management and vision helped catapult the company into the behemoth it is today.
"Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson
Mr. Johnson was an American aeronautical and systems engineer whose influence on aircraft design is unquestionable. The following quote is often attributed to this great engineer.
"Keep it simple, stupid."
Inventor of the Spread Spectrum Technology and silver screen appearances, she also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications. The only female entry on our list of quotes from inventors, we do apologize.
“All creative people want to do the unexpected.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer
"Father of the atomic bomb" and leader of the Manhattan project Oppenheimer's labors have certainly defined much of the 20th Century and beyond.
"Scientists are not delinquents. Our work has changed the conditions in which men live, but the use made of these changes is the problem of governments, not of scientists."
"No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows."
You can thank Louis Pasteur for various vaccines and preservation processes for milk, wine and beer. Cheers buddy.
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.”
You already know about him, we'll just let him speak on our list of quotes from inventors.
"Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born."
"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."
"All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed--only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle."
" Scientists today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."
Orville and Wilbur Wright
Again we are confident you know about these guys.
“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.”
Sadly this entry on our list of quotes from inventors cannot be attributed to any one person in particular. We like it though.
"To the optimist, the glass is half full, to the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."
Bonus - Scott Adams
Ok, he's a cartoonist but the quote is pretty funny.
"Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems."
Author's favorite quote - Yoda (perhaps technically George Lucas)
Again not an inventor, nor an actual person, but words to live by.
"Do or do not, there is no try!"
So there you go. Again this list is far from exhaustive and we welcome your suggestions. Feel free to comment below.