— Thomas Edison American inventor and businessman 1847 - 1931
Spoken statement (c. 1903); published in Harper's Monthly (September 1932).
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 percent 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 percent 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."