The Best Lonnie Johnson quotes

Lonnie Johnson quotes thumbnail

In the early 1890s, Lonnie Johnson was tinkering with a new invention in his Georgia garage when he got an idea that would change the course of his life. Inspired by a toy called the SQUIRT, Johnson began to experiment with ways to use compressed air to power water jets. What started as a simple bedroom project quickly turned into something much bigger- and soon, Johnson had created one of the world’s first working prototypes for the water gun. Lonnie Johnson’s story is one of innovation and determination, and his invention has made a lasting impact on childhood playtime around the globe.

Here are the most known quotes from Lonnie Johnson, and much more.


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About Lonnie Johnson

birth of the author

February 8, 1899

death of the author

June 16, 1970

genre of the author

Jazz, Blues

occupation of the author


instrument of the author

Guitar, Violin, Vocals

institution of the author

Okeh, Bluebird, King, Bluesville

Inspiring Phrases From Lonnie Johnson

It was because of the success of the Super Soaker, I was able to at least get an audience with people to present some of my other ideas. — Lonnie Johnson

After I graduated from Tuskegee with a masters in nuclear engineering, the draft was on so I signed up for ROTC. I figured if I had to go into the military, I’d rather go in as an officer. — Lonnie Johnson

There are maybe three inventions I have that I rank as my top inventions that I’m most proud of. The robot I built in high school, the memory–protected circuitry for the Galileo and the Super Soaker. — Lonnie Johnson

I wound up getting offered a job at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where I invented a power supply mechanism for the Galileo space craft which was in orbit around Jupiter until 2003. — Lonnie Johnson

i think america s strength is in innovation Lonnie Johnson quote

I think America’s strength is in innovation. — Lonnie Johnson

Peer review is fine, as long as you’re making incremental improvements to a technology. — Lonnie Johnson

I don’t think there’s any project that I started that I ever stopped working on. — Lonnie Johnson

Various Statements From Lonnie Johnson

There was a time in my life when I was independently wealthy. — Lonnie Johnson

If they continue on this path it sets a bad precedent for warm–water species management, we just think long term it will harm the (warm–water) fishery. — Lonnie Johnson

there was a time in my life when i was independently wealthy Lonnie Johnson quote

I can remember times when we’d be having parties, and people would be dancing and everything and I would be sitting there in the middle doing calculus, just doing my little thing. — Lonnie Johnson

I decided I could develop a toy and get some revenue from that and then use that revenue to really become an inventor and work on some of the more challenging projects I had in mind. — Lonnie Johnson

Sitting still, a person produces about 100 watts of heat. What if you could use that to charge your cell phone? — Lonnie Johnson

I consider myself a general practitioner. I do electronic things. I do toys and water things, mechanical stuff. I’m very, very flexible. — Lonnie Johnson

Especially when you have a lot of technology you’re developing as a small company, trying to protect that technology is a real problem. — Lonnie Johnson

More Phrases From Lonnie Johnson

I like all kinds of music. I listen to Abigail Washburn, the Punch Brothers, and Marc Johnson, the great clawhammer player. I also listen a lot to Sirius Radio, there’s a lot of bluegrass there. — Steve Martin

That’s one of the advantages of being an inventor and tinkerer–I have everything I need to make what I need. — Lonnie Johnson

The invention that most people know me for is the Super Soaker water gun. I knew the gun worked well, and I knew it would be successful. I did not realize how successful it would be. — Lonnie Johnson

Nobody’s going to step in and dump a lot of money and make it easy. Unless you have a lot of money, you have to pay your dues and make a personal sacrifice. — Lonnie Johnson

Redundant Thematics

In Lonnie Johnson Statements


Lady Luck is indifferent. She smiles sometimes, and she frowns sometimes. — Lonnie Johnson

lady luck is indifferent she smiles sometimes and she frowns sometimes Lonnie Johnson quote

I have never really understood why in this country so many people look down on black people. — Lonnie Johnson

Most of my career as an engineer, I was put in environments where I was the only person of color in the room. — Lonnie Johnson

Deeper Quotes From Lonnie Johnson

I have a collection of SuperSoakers. I have managed to keep most of them. — Lonnie Johnson

I didn’t want to grow old and find that I didn’t do what I could have done, that I didn’t put my best foot forward. I didn’t want to have any regrets. — Lonnie Johnson

I received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, then graduated with a masters in nuclear engineering. — Lonnie Johnson

i have a collection of supersoakers i have managed to keep most of them Lonnie Johnson quote

Persevere. That’s what I always say to people. There’s no easy route. — Lonnie Johnson

I love playing around with ideas and turning them into something useful or fun. — Lonnie Johnson

I’ve always liked to tinker with things. — Lonnie Johnson

As an inventor, it’s a rite of passage to have an engine. I’d like to have my own engine someday. — Lonnie Johnson


Lonnie Johnson is a genius with an inventive mind, and we can all learn from his words of wisdom. We hope these quotes have inspired you to be more creative in your own life and work. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our courses page where you can find tutorials on how to be more innovative and inventive like Lonnie Johnson himself.

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