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

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 22 05:28:13 UTC 2010

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.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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