"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more."
"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane." (Modern Mechanics and Inventions. July, 1934)
"The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planter -- for the future. His duty is to lay foundation of those who are to come and point the way."
"Universal peace as a result of cumulative effort through centuries past might come into existence quickly -- not unlike a crystal that suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared."
"The practical success of an idea, irrespective of its inherent merit, is dependent on the attitude of the contemporaries. If timely it is quickly adopted; if not, it is apt to fare like a sprout lured out of the ground by warm sunshine, only to be injured and retarded in its growth by the succeeding frost."
"My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain."
On Marconi: "The greatest men of science have told me [the Tesla coil] was my best achievement. . . . For instance, a man fills this space with hydrogen; he employs all my instrumentalities, everything that is necessary, but calls it a new wireless system--I cannot stop it. Another man puts in here a kind of gap. He gets a Nobel prize for it. . . . The inventive effort involved is about the same as that of which a 30-year old mule is capable."
On George Westinghouse: "George Westinghouse was, in my opinion, the only man on this globe who could take my alternating-current system under the circumstances then existing and win the battle against prejudice and money power. He was a pioneer of imposing stature, one of the world's true nobleman of whom America may well be proud and to whom humanity owes an immense debt of gratitude." (Speech, Institute of Immigrant Welfare, Hotel Baltimore, New York, May 12, 1938, read in absentia.)
"We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the energy of the atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind... The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is preeminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun's energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land..." (Nikola Tesla, "My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla", Hart Bros., 1982. Originally appeared in the Electrical experimenter magazine in 1919.)