[Ads-l] Quote: Better mouse trap - slight antedating (attrib Ralph Waldo Emerson 1882 May 11)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 25 00:23:42 UTC 2015

Way back in the halcyon days of May 2010 I posted to the list a slight
antedating for the "make a better mouse trap" saying attributed to
Ralph Waldo Emerson. Now a new entry on the Quote Investigator website
shares the citation with the curious:

If You Build a Better Mousetrap the World Will Beat a Path to Your Door

Earlier citations and feedback are welcome,

On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 1:28 AM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Cite: 1882 May 11, Atlanta Constitution, Current Comment: The Value of
> Good Work: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Page 4, Atlanta, Georgia. (ProQuest
> Historical Newspapers)
>             CURRENT COMMENT.
>           The Value of Good Work,
>              Ralph Waldo Emerson.
> If a man can write a better book, preach a better
> sermon or make a better mouse trap than his neigh-
> bors, though he builds his house in the woods, the
> world will make a beaten path to his door.
> The entire content of the short article displayed by ProQuest appears
> above. This text contains some minor differences when compared to the
> version in YBQ:
> "neighbors" is plural in this version.
> "mouse trap" is not hyphenated.
> I checked the ADS-L archive, Yale Book of Quotations. Online Oxford
> Reference, Barry Popik's website, Quote Verifier, and WikiQuote. YBQ
> and the ADS-L archive (message from Fred Shapiro) have 1882 May 19.
> Other references have 1889 or omit the saying.
> Garson

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