on inventors

"Montague: Your father was an inventor. What were some of his inventions?

Cage: He invented a submarine that held the world's record in 1913 for staying underwater. But it ran by means of a gas engine, so it left bubbles on the surface, and you could tell where it was. It never occurred to him that it would be important to hide. When he saw that people wanted to travel underwater secretly, he then invented a way to discover them. It was used in World War I in the English Channel to detect German submarines. When he died he was working on space travel without the use of fuel. In other words, the release from or acceptance of gravity.

Montague: Where did he do his training?

Cage: Out of the blue. He never graduated from high school.

Montague: My grandfather was also an inventor and had a similar background with no real formal training. He was the inventor of the snap clothes pin, double-ended toothpick, hard-surface paper plate, book matches, and other such things, but never graduated from high school.

Cage: Right, inventors don't have to."

from a 1985 interview with john cage by stephen montague.
via ubuweb.

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