Topics: Nikola Tesla, 99, Thomas Edison Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: February 9, 2013
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. * Spoken statement (c. 1903); published in Harper's Monthly (September 1932) * Variants:
* None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. * Statement in a press conference (1929), as quoted in Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James D. Newton, p. 24. * Variant forms without early citation: "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Accordingly, a 'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework." "Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. -------------------------------------------------

The first mention of a definition of genius by Edison is in an article about him in the April 1898 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. A paragraph in that article says:        “Once, when asked to give his definition of genius, Mr. Edison replied: ‘Two per cent is genius and ninety-eight per cent is hard work.’ At another time, when the argument that genius was inspiration was brought before him, he said: ‘Bah! Genius is not inspired. Inspiration is perspiration.’”  -------------------------------------------------

Quote Investigator: Edison did discuss both of the ratios given above, and he also spoke of different ingredients such as “hard work”, “inspiration”, and “perspiration”. His popular aphorism evolved over time. Also, before Edison’s pronouncements were published there were other precursor statements in circulation. For example, in 1892 a newspaper in Massachusetts...
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