The Quotable Thomas Edison

The Quotable Thomas Edison

Mr. Edison was quoted many times in the social media of that time– newspapers, magazines, journals and personal interviews. His lesser- known quotes have not been seen by many admirers, so here are some of those “second tier” gems from the mouth of the great inventor.

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Thomas Edison felt most keenly the press of time on his life. Below is a quote that expresses his reaction to his precious and limited resource….time: 

“The only time I become discouraged is when I think of all the things I like to do and the little time I have in which to do them. I would like to live about three hundred years.  I think I have ideas enough to keep me busy that long.”


Visionary that he was, many instances occur where Edison was way ahead of his time in predicting how technology would change the world. The quote below sets the stage for big changes in the realm of energy:

 “Someday, man will harness the rise and fall of the tides, imprison the power of the sun, and release atomic power.”  

By the way, his prediction of movies being used as a great educational tool certainly came to be, such as the Internet, smartboards, and classroom movies. These are certainly all over the education scene.


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Edison had a great love for the country, especially Revolutionary Period heroes. His favorite national Holiday was the 4th of July.

“Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation…. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward!“ 


The great inventor had a profound sense of duty to country and fellow man, as exemplified here.

“The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”


A pair of Edison quotes clearly expresses the inventor’s feelings about the importance of thinking, a big theme in his daily work and exhortations to his staff.

“A person who does not endeavor to apply the custom of thinking is equal to the person who has lost all their joy in life.”

“The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.”

In his West Orange Labs, Edison had this Joshua Reynolds quote tacked up on the walls of his labs and working areas…..”There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” 


Let’s conclude with a bit of humorous sarcasm from his lips!

“You will have many opportunities in life to keep your mouth shut:  You should take advantage of every one of them.”

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There they are, some not so popular, but effective quotes from Thomas Edison!


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