He that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well-being of mankind.
A fine invention is nothing more than a fine deviation from, or enlargement on a fine model.—Imitation, if noble and general, insures the best hope of originality.
Where we cannot invent, we may at least improve; we may give somewhat of novelty to that which was old, condensation to that which was diffuse, perspicuity to that which was obscure, and currency to that which was recondite.
Invention is a kind of muse, which, being possessed of the other advantages common to her sisters, and being warmed by the fire of Apollo, is raised higher than the rest.
It is frivolous to fix pedantically the date of particular inventions. They have all been invented over and over fifty times. Man is the arch machine, of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models. He helps himself on each emergency by copying or duplicating his own structure, just so far as the need is.
Nothing can be made of nothing; he who has laid up no materials can produce no combinations.
Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.
The great inventor is one who has walked forth upon the industrial world, not from universities, but from hovels; not as clad in silks and decked with honors, but as clad in fustian and grimed with soot and oil.