Opening paragraphs of “The Laws of Success” by Napoleon Hill, 1928:
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Some thirty years ago a young clergyman by the name of Gunsaulus announced in the newspapers of Chicago that he would preach a sermon the following Sunday morning entitled:
“WHAT I WOULD DO IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS!” (my note: $1 million in 1898 is worth $26 million now)
The announcement caught the eye of Philip D. Armour, the wealthy packing-house king, who decided to hear the sermon.
In his sermon Dr. Gunsaulus pictured a great school of technology where young men and young women could be taught how to succeed in life by developing the ability to THINK in practical rather than in theoretical terms; where they would betaught to “learn by doing.” “If I had a million dollars,” said the young preacher, “I would start such a school.”
After the sermon was over Mr. Armour walked down the aisle to the pulpit, introduced himself, and said, “Young man, I believe you could do all you said you could, and if you will come down to my office tomorrow morning I will give you the million dollars you need.”
There is always plenty of capital for those who can create practical plans for using it.
That was the beginning of the Armour Institute of Technology (photo above), one of the very practical schools of the country. The school was born in the “imagination” of a young man who never would have been heard of outside of the community in which he preached had it not been for the “imagination,” plus the capital, of Philip D. Armour. Every great railroad, and every outstanding financial institution and every mammoth business enterprise, and every great invention, began in the imagination of some one person.
F. W. Woolworth created the Five and Ten Cent Store Plan in his “imagination” before it became a reality and made him a multimillionaire.
Thomas A. Edison created the talking machine and the moving picture machine and the incandescent electric light bulb and scores of other useful inventions, in his own “imagination,” before they became a reality.