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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Edwin Herbert Land Quotes

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Edwin Herbert Land
(7 May 1909 - 1 Mar 1991)

American inventor and physicist.


Science Quotes by Edwin Herbert Land (20 quotes)

A premature attempt to explain something that thrills you will destroy your perceptivity rather than increase it, because your tendency will be to explain away rather than seek out.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Victor K. McElhenty, Insisting on the Impossible, 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (41)  |  Destroy (15)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Increase (36)  |  Premature (11)  |  Seek (15)  |  Tendency (18)  |  Thrill (8)

An invention that is quickly accepted will turn out to be a rather trivial alteration of something that has already existed.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Speaking at a shareholders' meeting (1975) as quoted by Victor K. McElheny, in Insisting On The Impossible: The Life Of Edwin Land (1999), 403.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (31)  |  Alteration (15)  |  Existence (150)  |  Invention (174)  |  Trivial (14)

Any problem can be solved using the materials in the room.
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Peter C. Wensberg, Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It (1987).
Science quotes on:  |  Material (60)  |  Problem (180)  |  Room (11)  |  Solution (109)

Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.
[In reference to concentration and hard work.]
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in New York Times (2 Mar 1991), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Excess (5)  |  Work (198)  |  Worth (30)

As I review the nature of the creative drive in the inventive scientists that have been around me, as well as in myself, I find the first event is an urge to make a significant intellectual contribution that can be tangible embodied in a product or process.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in New York Times (2 Mar 1991), 1 and 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Creativity (45)  |  Drive (14)  |  Embody (3)  |  Event (49)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Inventive (3)  |  Process (97)  |  Product (33)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Significant (7)  |  Urge (3)

Do not do anything that anyone else can do readily.
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (41)  |  Research (360)

Do not undertake the program unless the goal is manifestly important and its achievement nearly impossible.
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (73)  |  Goal (36)  |  Important (20)  |  Impossible (26)  |  Manifestly (3)  |  Program (7)  |  Undertake (5)

Every creative act is a sudden cessation of stupidity.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in Alix Kerr, 'What It Took: Intuition, Goo,' Life (25 Jan 1963), 54, No. 4, 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Cessation (10)  |  Creativity (45)  |  Stupidity (14)  |  Sudden (6)

Fifty years after we undertook to make the first synthetic polarizers we find them the essential layer in digital liquid-crystal. And thirty four years after we undertook to make the first instant camera and film, our kind of photography has become ubiquitous.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Letter to shareholders (1978). In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Camera (2)  |  Display (9)  |  Film (3)  |  Instant (3)  |  Photography (5)  |  Ubiquitous (2)

I believe quite simply that the small company of the future will be as much a research organization as it is a manufacturing company.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Written in 1944. Quoted in New York Times (2 Mar 1991), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Company (14)  |  Manufacturing (16)  |  Research (360)

I have long aspired to make our company a noble prototype of industry, penetrating in science, reliable in engineering, creative in aesthetics and wholesomely prosperous in economics.
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetics (3)  |  Aspiration (8)  |  Company (14)  |  Creativity (45)  |  Economics (19)  |  Engineering (60)  |  Industry (49)  |  Noble (14)  |  Penetration (10)  |  Prototype (4)  |  Reliability (9)  |  Science (875)  |  Wholesome (4)

If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don't think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even though the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and [when you] start taking the first ten, and ... twenty after that, it is amazing how quickly you get through through the four thousand [nine hundred] and ninety. The last ten steps you never seem to work out. But you keep on coming nearer to giving the world something.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Victor K. McElheny, Insisting on the Impossible (1999), 1.

Industry is best at the intersection of science and art.
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Industry (49)  |  Science (875)

It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Address at the Franklin Institute (1937). Journal of the Franklin Institute (1937), 224, 277. Also see Paul C. Wensberg, Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man who Invented It (1987), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Curious (6)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Problem (180)  |  Property (46)  |  Research (360)  |  Solution (109)

The second great product of industry should be the rewarding life for every person
— Edwin Herbert Land
In Alan R. Earls and Nasrin Rohani, Polaroid (2005), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Industry (49)  |  Life (460)  |  Product (33)  |  Reward (21)

The test of an invention is the power of an inventor to push it through in the face of staunch—not opposition, but indifference—in society.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Speaking at a shareholders' meeting (1975) as quoted by Victor K. McElheny, in Insisting On The Impossible: The Life Of Edwin Land (1999), 404.
Science quotes on:  |  Indifference (7)  |  Invention (174)  |  Inventor (25)  |  Opposition (22)  |  Push (6)  |  Society (84)

This is the most exciting part of being human. It is using our brains in the highest way. Otherwise we are just healthy animals
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in Alix Kerr, 'What It Took: Intuition, Goo,' Life (25 Jan 1963), 54, No. 4, 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Brain (106)  |  Excitement (20)  |  Health (93)  |  Human (168)

We have to keep in practice like musicians. Besides, there are still potentialities to be realized in color film. To us, it's just like bringing up a child. You don't stop after you've had it.
[On product improvement research.]
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in Alix Kerr, 'What It Took: Intuition, Goo,' Life (25 Jan 1963), 54, No. 4, 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (90)  |  Film (3)  |  Musician (4)  |  Parent (24)  |  Photography (5)  |  Potential (15)  |  Practice (26)  |  Research (360)

We took on things which people might think would take a year or two. They weren't particularly hard. What was hard was believing they weren't hard.
[Recalling high-pressure, short-deadline problem solving leading up to planned release date of Polaroid instant color film.]
— Edwin Herbert Land
Quoted in Alix Kerr, 'What It Took: Intuition, Goo,' Life (25 Jan 1963), 54, No. 4, 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Difficulty (76)  |  Persistence (10)  |  Research (360)

[A significant invention] must be startling, unexpected. It must come to a world that is not prepared for it.
— Edwin Herbert Land
Speaking at a shareholders' meeting (1975) as quoted by Victor K. McElheny, in Insisting On The Impossible: The Life Of Edwin Land (1999), 403-404.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (31)  |  Invention (174)  |  Preparation (22)  |  Significance (30)  |  Startling (4)  |  Unexpected (13)


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