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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Charles F. Kettering Quotes > Inventor

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Charles F. Kettering
(29 Aug 1876 - 25 Nov 1958)

American engineer whose 140 patents included the electric starter, car lighting and ignition systems.


Charles F. Kettering Quotes on Inventor (4 quotes)

>> Click for 67 Science Quotes by Charles F. Kettering

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An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (118)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Success (202)

An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates form college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he’s in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.
— Charles F. Kettering
In 'How Can We Develop Inventors?' presented to the Annual meeting of the American Society of Society Engineers. Reprinted in Mechanical Engineering (Apr 1944). Collected in Prophet of Progress: Selections from the Speeches of Charles F. Kettering (1961), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Failure (118)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Success (202)

People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one asks the inventor what he thinks of other people.
— Charles F. Kettering
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips and Quotes, 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Inventor (49)

People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one ever asks the inventor what he thinks of other people.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Inventor (49)


See also:
  • 29 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kettering's birth.
  • More for Charles F. Kettering on Today in Science History page.
  • Charles Franklin Kettering: A Biography, by T. A. 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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