You know, you read about the future. You can't help that. I don't look upon the future. I am not a politician. I am not worried about the future at all. I don't like to run it down. I don't like to think of it being too dark because I expect to spend all the rest of my life there and I don't want to have a nasty end to it.
"Mr. Kettering's Talk", News and Views, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, General Exchange Insurance Corporation, Motors Insurance Corporation, 1936, p. 46
I object to people running down the future. I am going to live all the rest of my life there, and I would like it to be a nice place, polished, bright, glistening, and glorious.
You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it. The research department should have foreseen what was necessary and had it ready to a point where people never knew they wanted it until it was made available to them.
As quoted in Scientific American (August 1934) p. 243
Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it takes years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull.
As quoted in Boss Ket (1961) by Rosamond McPherson Young p. 194
We think we are smart because we have been flying for about sixty years. Birds and bees and butterflies have been flying for hundreds of thousands of years.
as quoted in Boss Ket (1961) by Rosamond McPherson Young p. 194
We find that in research a certain amount of intelligent ignorance is essential to progress; for, if you know too much, you won't try the thing.
quoted in Professional Amateur: The Biography Of Charles Franklin Kettering, Thomas Alvin Boyd, 1957 page 106 (Internet Archive)