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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Abraham Lincoln
(12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865)

American president and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the U.S. from 1861, during the American Civil War, until his assasination in 1865. He is the only American president issued a patent for an invention (a device to lift boats over shoals, 1849).

Science Quotes by Abraham Lincoln (5 quotes)

All creation is a mine, and every man a miner.
The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself … are the infinitely various “leads” from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny.
— Abraham Lincoln
Opening sentences of lecture 'Discoveries and Inventions', (1860) in Discoveries and Inventions (1915).
Science quotes on:  |  Destiny (18)  |  Discovery (522)  |  Invention (258)  |  Man (322)  |  Mine (14)  |  World (466)

In the world's history certain inventions and discoveries occurred of peculiar value, on account of their great efficiency in facilitating all other inventions and discoveris. Of these were the art of writing and of printing, the discovery of America, and the introduction of patent laws. The date of the first … is unknown; but it certainly was as much as fifteen hundred years before the Christian era; the second—printing—came in 1436, or nearly three thousand years after the first. The others followed more rapidly—the discovery of America in 1492, and the first patent laws in 1624.
— Abraham Lincoln
Lecture 'Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements' (22 Feb 1860) in John George Nicolay and John Hay (eds.), Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln (1894), Vol. 5, 109-10.
Science quotes on:  |  America (60)  |  Discovery (522)  |  Introduction (30)  |  Invention (258)  |  Patent (22)  |  Printing (11)  |  Writing (71)

Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship.
— Abraham Lincoln
Lecture 'Discoveries and Inventions', (1860) in Discoveries and Inventions (1915).
Science quotes on:  |  Improvement (56)  |  Labour (33)  |  Workmanship (3)

Next came the patent laws. These began in England in 1624, and in this country with the adoption of our Constitution. Before then any man [might] instantly use what another man had invented, so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this, secured to the inventor for a limited time exclusive use of his inventions, and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.
— Abraham Lincoln
Lecture 'Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements' (22 Feb 1860) in John George Nicolay and John Hay (eds.), Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln (1894), Vol. 5, 113. In Eugene C. Gerhart, Quote it Completely! (1998), 802.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (31)  |  Discovery (522)  |  Exclusive (6)  |  Genius (150)  |  Interest (127)  |  Invention (258)  |  Patent (22)  |  Production (86)  |  Usefulness (65)

Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power—that is, power to move things. Take any given space of the earth's surface— for instance, Illinois; and all the power exerted by all the men, and beasts, and running-water, and steam, over and upon it, shall not equal the one hundredth part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same space. And yet it has not, so far in the world's history, become proportionably valuable as a motive power. It is applied extensively, and advantageously, to sail-vessels in navigation. Add to this a few windmills, and pumps, and you have about all. … As yet, the wind is an untamed, and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of it.
— Abraham Lincoln
Lecture 'Discoveries and Inventions', (1860) in Discoveries and Inventions (1915).
Science quotes on:  |  Force (133)  |  Invention (258)  |  Power (202)  |  Renewable Energy (11)  |  Ship (31)  |  Steam Engine (39)  |  Wind Power (8)  |  Windmill (3)



Quotes by others about Abraham Lincoln (1)

Darwin was as much of an emancipator as was Lincoln.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (255)


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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