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September 19, 2008

Abraham Lincoln on creativity and invention

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"The great difference between Young America and Old Fogy is the result of Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements. These, in turn, are the result of observation, reflection and experiment. For instance, it is quite certain that ever since water has been boiled in covered vessels, men have seen the lids of the vessels rise and fall a little, with a sort of fluttering motion, by force of the steam; but so long as this was not specially observed, and reflected, and experimented upon, it came to nothing. At length, however, after many thousand years, some man observes this long-known effect of hot water lifting a pot-lid, and begins a train of reflection upon it. He says “Why, to be sure, the force that lifts the pot-lid will lift anything else, which is no heavier than the pot-lid. And, as man has much hard lifting to do, cannot this hot-water power be made to help him?” He has become a little excited on the subject, and he fancies he hears a voice answering 'Try me.'" — From "Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements," an 1859 lecture.

[via Mark Leibovich and the New York Times]

Readers wishing the back story of the photo heading this post could do worse than start here.

To be sure, you could do better elsewhere.

But haven't I done enough for today already?

September 19, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

Good old Abe.
A favorite quote of his -- "No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens."

Posted by: Flautley's Believe It Or Else | Sep 19, 2008 7:07:59 PM

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