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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > John Fitch Quotes

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John Fitch
(21 Jan 1743 - 2 Jul 1798)

American inventor.


Science Quotes by John Fitch (2 quotes)

The day will come when some more powerful man will get fame and riches from my invention, but nobody will believe that poor John Fitch can do anything worthy of attention.
— John Fitch
Quoted from his manuscript autobiography (cited as in the Franklin Library, Philadelphia), in James T. Lloyd, Lloyd's Steamboat Directory: And Disasters of the Western Waters (1856), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (191)  |  Belief (578)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fame (50)  |  Invention (377)  |  Man (2249)  |  More (2559)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Poor (136)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Rich (63)  |  Will (2354)  |  Worth (169)

[The steamboat] will answer for sea voyages as well as for inland navigation, in particular for packets, where there may be a great number of passengers. He is also of opinion, that fuel for a short voyage would not exceed the weight of water for a long one, and it would produce a constant supply of fresh water. ... [T]he boat would make head against the most violent tempests, and thereby escape the danger of a lee shore; and that the same force may be applied to a pump to free a leaky ship of her water. ... [T]he good effects of the machine, is the almost omnipotent force by which it is actuated, and the very simple, easy, and natural way by which the screws or paddles are turned to answer the purpose of oars.
[This letter was written in 1785, before the first steamboat carried a man (Fitch) on 27 Aug 1787.]
— John Fitch
Letter to Benjamin Franklin (12 Oct 1785), in The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1882), Vol. 10, 232.
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See also:
  • 21 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Fitch's birth.
  • Poor John Fitch: Inventor of the Steamboat, by Thomas Boyd. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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