A teacher sent the following note home with a six-year-old boy 'He is too stupid to learn.' That boy was Thomas A. Edison.
My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul But I simply do not believe it.
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.
There is a great directing head of things and people a supreme being, who looks after the destinies of the world. I have faith in a supreme being, and all my thoughts are regarding the life after death where the soul goes, what form it takes and its relations to those now living. I am convinced that the body is made up of entities which are intelligent. When one cuts his finger, I believe it is the intelligence of those entities that heals the wound. When one is sick, it is the intelligence of these entities that brings convalescence. You know that there are living cells in the body so tiny that the microscope cannot show them at all. The entity that gives life and motion to the human body is finer still and lies infinitely beyond the reach of our finest scientific instruments. When this entity deserts the body, the body is like a ship without a rudder deserted, motionless, dead.
I am wondering what would have happened to me if some fluent talker had converted me to the theory of the eight-hour day and convinced me that it was not fair to my fellow workers to put forth my best efforts in my work. I am glad that the eight-hour day had not been invented when I was a young man. If my life had been made up of eight-hour days, I do not believe I could have accomplished a great deal. This country would not amount to as much as it does if the young men of fifty years ago had been afraid that they might earn more than they were paid for.
Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.
A reporter called on Edison to interview him about a substitute for lead in the manufacture of storage batteries that the scientist was seeking. Edison informed the man that he had made 20,000 experiments but none had worked. 'Arent you discouraged by all this waste of effort' the reporter asked. Edison 'Waste Theres nothing wasted. I have discovered 20,000 things that wont work.
There is far more danger in public than in private monopoly, for when Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meetand that is the first requisite of business.
Someday man will harness the rise and fall of the tides, imprison the power of the sun, and release atomic power.
Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph best. Life's most soothing things are sweet music and a child's goodnight.
There is almost no limit to which man will not go to avoid thinking.
I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.
If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value.
Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.
I have not failed. I have merely found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Five percent of the people think ten percent of the people think they think and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.
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.
It is remarkable to what lengths people will go to avoid thought.
The inventor tries to meet the demand of a crazy civilization.
Genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration.
I never did anything worth doing entirely by accident and none of my inventions came about totally by accident. They came about by hard work.
I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.
It is very beautiful over there.
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 find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent. My main purpose in life is to make money so that I can afford to go on creating more inventions.
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.
I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it. I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others. 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.
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