Thomas Edison was one of the most famous and accomplished inventors in history. He is best known for his invention of the light bulb, but he also contributed significantly to telecommunications and motion pictures.
In this blog post, we will take a look at some of his best quotes and learn more about this amazing man!
About Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of his time. Throughout his career, he amassed 1,093 patents for his inventions, ranging from the electric light bulb to the phonograph. He is also credited with helping to establish the Industrial Research Laboratory.
Born in 1847, Edison grew up in a small town in Ohio. He exhibited an early interest in science and tinkering, and by the age of 12, he enrolled in a chemistry course at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. In 1862, he started working as a newsboy on the Grand Trunk Railway.
It was during this time that he began to experiment with electrical devices. In 1876, Edison established his first laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Over the next several years, he would perfect his invention of the light bulb and make important breakthroughs in other areas of invention, including sound recording and storage. Thomas Edison’s many contributions to society have made him one of the most celebrated figures in American history.
Here are the best Thomas Edison Quotes
Thomas Edison is such an icon that he has made appearances in popular culture during his lifetime and even after his death. His prolific invention helped make him a household name, and he remains present in popular culture today. Let’s take a look at some of his most famous quotes:
1. “Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool.” – Thomas Edison
The quote suggests that we should never judge others because we never know who might be wise or foolish. The quote also suggests that it is better to be thought of as a fool than to judge others and risk being considered a fool. This is a vital lesson for all of us to learn.
We should always try to see things from the other person’s perspective and not be too quick to judge. We never know what someone else might be going through, and we should always show them compassion and understanding. Only then can we truly start to see the world through their eyes.
2. “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.” – Thomas Edison
3. “Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.” – Thomas Edison
4. “A genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” – Thomas Edison
5. “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
6. “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas Edison
7. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. They may even discover the germ of old age.” – Thomas Edison
8. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this, you haven’t.” – Thomas Edison
9. “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” – Thomas Edison
10. “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.” – Thomas Edison
11. “The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast.” – Thomas Edison
For Edison, time was not a linear progression from one moment to the next. Instead, it was a series of discrete events, each worthy of close attention. The hands of a clock move too fast for Edison because they blur these events together, making it difficult to focus on any one thing.
This is not to say that Edison didn’t value efficiency or productivity. On the contrary, he understood that maximizing the potential of each moment was essential to achieving success. In this way, Edison’s quote speaks to the importance of living in the present and savoring every experience.
12. “It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.” – Thomas Edison
13. “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
14. “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.” – Thomas Edison
15. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison
16. “I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.” – Thomas Edison
17. “I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us- everything that exists – proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision.” – Thomas Edison
18. “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
19. “Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth.” – Thomas Edison
20. “Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” – Thomas Edison
21. “You can’t realize your dreams unless you have one, to begin with.” – Thomas Edison
Dreams are the foundation of success. Without dreams, we would have no reason to strive for something better. We would be content to simply exist, without any ambition or drive. Dreams inspire us to do great things and to reach for the impossible. They push us outside our comfort zones and help us to see the world in a new light.
Dreams remind us that anything is possible if we only dare to believe. Thomas Edison understood the power of dreams. He knew that they could not only help us to achieve our goals but also change the world.
That is why he once said, “You can’t realize your dreams unless you have one, to begin with.” Dreams are the first step on the road to success. So don’t be afraid to dream big, because only then will you be able to achieve great things.
22. “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.” – Thomas Edison
23. “Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.” – Thomas Edison
24. “I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.” – Thomas Edison
25. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
26. “I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.” – Thomas Edison
27. “What you are will show in what you do.” – Thomas Edison
28. “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.” – Thomas Edison
29. “When I have finally decided that a result is worth getting, I go ahead on it and make trial after trial until it comes.” – Thomas Edison
30. “Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration!” – Thomas Edison
31. “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of his time, with over 1,000 patents to his name. He didn’t achieve this level of success by taking shortcuts or cutting corners. Instead, he put in long hours of trial and error, tirelessly pursuing his vision until he reached his goal.
For Edison, hard work was the key to success. He understood that there were no shortcuts to achieving his goals. And he also knew that the only way to achieve greatness was through dedication and perseverance. In other words, Edison believed that hard work was the only way to reach your full potential. And it’s hard to argue with his results.
32. “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. I wish I had more years left.” – Thomas Edison
33. “It is very beautiful over there!” – Thomas Edison
34. “I do not believe in the God of the theologians; but that there is a Supreme Intelligence I do not doubt.” – Thomas Edison
35. “Inspiration can be found in a pile of junk. Sometimes, you can put it together with a good imagination and invent something.” – Thomas Edison
36. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” – Thomas Edison
37. “The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.” — Thomas Edison – Thomas Edison
38. “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.” – Thomas Edison
39. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” – Thomas Edison
40. “I never view mistakes as failures. They are simply opportunities to find out what doesn’t work.” – Thomas Edison
41. “I readily absorb ideas from every source, frequently starting where the last person left off.” – Thomas Edison
What Edison understood was the value of building on the work of others. By synthesizing the ideas of others, he was able to create something new and innovative. It’s a lesson that all of us can learn from.
When we are open to new ideas and willing to build on the work of others, we are much more likely to create something truly unique and special.
42. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” – Thomas Edison
43. “I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing.” – Thomas Edison
44. “My main purpose in life is to make enough money to create ever more inventions…. The dove is my emblem…. I want to save and advance human life, not destroy it…. I am proud of the fact that I have never invented weapons to kill….” – Thomas Edison
45. “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” – Thomas Edison
46. “I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.” – Thomas Edison
47. “Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!” – Thomas Edison
48. “I don’t live with the past; I am living for to-day and to-morrow.” – Thomas Edison
49. “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.” – Thomas Edison
50. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” – Thomas Edison
51. “I start where the last man left off.” – Thomas Edison
Rather than starting from scratch, Edison preferred to build on the work of others. He believed that progress was made by standing on the shoulders of giants, and he was always looking for ways to improve existing technologies.
This quote is often used as a rallying cry for those who wish to make their mark on the world. It serves as a reminder that we are all standing on the shoulders of those who came before us and that we have a responsibility to pay it forward. In today’s rapidly changing world, Edison’s words remain as relevant as ever.
52. “Hard work, nothing to divert my thought, clear air and simple food made my life very pleasant.” – Thomas Edison
53. “I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” – Thomas Edison
54. “To my mind the old masters are not art; their value is in their scarcity.” – Thomas Edison
55. “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” – Thomas Edison
56. “If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value.” – Thomas Edison
57. “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
58. “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.” – Thomas Edison
59. “His genius he was quite content in one brief sentence to define; Of inspiration one percent, of perspiration, ninety nine.” – Thomas Edison
60. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” – Thomas Edison
61. “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison
Too often, people have grandiose plans but lack the motivation to see them through. As a result, their dreams remain nothing more than pie-in-the-sky fantasies. Edison understood that it takes hard work and dedication to turn a vision into reality. He also knew that the journey is just as important as the destination.
Executing a plan is often fraught with setbacks and challenges, but through these trials and tribulations, we learn and grow. We will never achieve our full potential without a willingness to take risks and embrace failure.
62. “What a man’s mind can create, man’s character should control.” – Thomas Edison
63. “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
64. “A man’s best friend is a good wife.” – Thomas Edison
65. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
66. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” – Thomas Edison
67. “Someday, man will harness the rise and fall of the tides, imprison the power of the sun, and release atomic power.” – Thomas Edison
68. “People are not remembered by how few times they fail, but by how often they succeed. Every wrong step is another step forward.” – Thomas Edison
69. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
70. “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
71. “The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.” – Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of his time, and it’s no wonder he is still quoted today. In this particular quote, Edison emphasizes the importance of focus and determination. He believed success was only possible if you were willing to put all your efforts into one goal and never give up.
This tenacity is what allowed Edison to create some of his most famous inventions, including the light bulb and the phonograph. Though Edison faced many setbacks during his career, he never lost sight of his goals. His willingness to persist in the face of failure ultimately led to his success.
72. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison
73. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison
Let’s Wind Up…
Thomas Edison was one of the most brilliant inventors in history. He was known for his tenacity and willingness to experiment, even when things didn’t go as planned. Edison’s quotes are a testament to his ingenuity and can still be applied today in business and life.
We should all strive to have the same “can do” attitude that Edison had and continue making progress in our lives. Thanks for reading!