A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 24, 2016
“Three great inventions: fire, the wheel and central banking”

American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) is often credited with the jocular saying:

“There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.”

However, the quotation has not been been found in print before the 1960s.


Wikipedia: Will Rogers
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor.

Google Books
Monthly Review - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
1961
Pg. 127:
A GLANCE AT HISTORY It is reported that on one occasion Will Rogers said: “There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.” He may have been kidding when he said this, for it is doubtful if central banking belongs in such exalted company.

Google News Archive
29 May 1962, Gadsden (AL) Times, , “Your Money’s Worth: What Is A Central Bank?” by Sylvia Porter, pg. 4, col. 1:
NEW YORK—Will Rogers is reported to have said it long ago. “There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.”

31 December 1971, Austin (TX) Statesman, “Stock Traders Almanac: Will Dow Jones ‘Pick’ the Winner?” by George Wheeler, pg. 5, col. 5:
From Will Rogers comes: “There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.”

Google Books
Macroeconomics:
Private and Public Choice (Second Edition

By James D Gwartney and Richard Stroup
New York, NY: Academic Oress, Inc.
1980
Pg. 231:
There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.
Will Rogers

Google Books
Money and Banking:
Financial Markets and Institutions

By Gary Smith
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
1982
Pg. 359:
There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.
Will Rogers

Google Books
Economics
By Paul Anthony Samuelson and William D. Nordhaus
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
1992
Pg. 524:
There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking.
Will Rogers

Google Books
The Age of Central Banks
By Curzio Giannini
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
2011
Pg. XX:
When Will Rogers, the American humorist, said, ‘There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking’, it may have been mere journalistic hyperbole, but like all hyperboles it contained an element of truth.

Twitter
Bruce Kamich, CMT
‏@BruceKamich
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time:Fire, the wheel, and central banking.”
Will Rogers
6:06 AM - 17 May 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 • Permalink