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Quotes of the day: Charles F. Kettering

Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 @ 4:02 PM EDT
Aug 28 2014

Charles Franklin Kettering (August 29, 1876 – November 24 or November 25, 1958) was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents.[1] He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.

A problem thoroughly understood is always fairly simple. Found your opinions on facts, not prejudices. We know too many things that are not true.

A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.

Bankers regard research as most dangerous a thing that makes banking hazardous due to the rapid changes it brings about in industry.

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.

Great steps in human progress are made by things that don't work the way philosophy thought they should. If things always worked the way they should, you could write the history of the world from now on. But they don't, and it is those deviations from the normal that make human progress.

If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.

In America we can say what we think, and even if we can't think, we can say it anyhow.

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.

No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.

People are very open-minded about new things- as long as they're exactly like the old ones.

People see the wrongness in an idea much quicker that the rightness.

Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.

The difference between intelligence and education is this: intelligence will make you a good living.

The key to economic prosperity is the organized creation of dissatisfaction.

The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.

The whole fun of living is trying to make something better.

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.

There is a great difference between knowing a thing and understanding it.

We have been measuring too much in terms of the dollar. What we should do is think in terms of useful materials— things that will be of value to us in our daily life.

We think we are smart because we have been flying for about sixty years. Birds and bees and butterflies have been flying for hundreds of thousands of years.

Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull.

You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it.

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.


August 29 is also the birthday of John Locke and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Categories: Charles F. Kettering, Quotes of the day


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