An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.


Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922, Scottish-born American inventor of the telephone)


Today every invention is received with a cry of triumph which soon turns into a cry of fear.


Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, German dramatist, poet)


The coming of the printing press must have seemed as if it would turn the world upside down in the way it spread and, above all, democratized knowledge. Provided you could pay and read, what was on the shelves in the new bookshops was yours for the taking. The speed with which printing presses and their operators fanned out across Europe is extraordinary. From the single Mainz press of 1457, it took only twenty-three years to establish presses in 110 towns: 50 in Italy, 30 in Germany, 9 in France, 8 in Spain, 8 in Holland, 4 in England, and so on.


James E. Burke (American businessman, chairman of Johnson & Johnson)


This is the patent age of new inventions for killing bodies, and for saving souls. All propagated with the best intentions.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


The real use of gunpowder is to make all men tall.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Everything that can be invented has been invented.


Charles H. Duell (Commissioner, American office of patents, 1899)


I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.


Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931, American inventor, founder of GE)


Man is a shrewd inventor, and is ever taking the hint of a new machine from his own structure, adapting some secret of his own anatomy in iron, wood, and leather, to some required function in the work of the world.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The march of invention has clothed mankind with powers of which a century ago the boldest imagination could not have dreamt.


Henry George (1839-1897, American social reformer, economist)


If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.


George Gobel


Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.


Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-, American author)


That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best -- make it all up -- but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


We can invent only with memory.


Alphonse Karr


We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity -- gunpowder and romantic love.


Andre Maurois (1885-1967, French writer)


I don't mind occasionally having to reinvent a wheel; I don't even mind using someone's reinvented wheel occasionally. But it helps a lot if it is symmetric, contains no fewer than ten sides, and has the axle centered. I do tire of trapezoidal wheels with offset axles.


Joseph Newcomer


A new gadget that lasts only five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.


Francis Picabia (1878-1953, French painter, poet)


Fear is a great inventor.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Invention strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory; nothing can come from nothing.


Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792, British artist, critic)


In my own time there have been inventions of this sort, transparent windows tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building short-hand, which has been carried to such a perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker. But the inventing of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves; philosophy lies deeper. It is not her office to teach men how to use their hands. The object of her lessons is to form the soul.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


Interest is the spur of the people, but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


The right of an inventor to his invention is no monopoly; in any other sense than a man's house is a monopoly.


Daniel Webster (1782-1852, American lawyer, statesman)


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