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 November 17, 2019
“Reinvent the wheel” (to do work unnecessarily when it has already been done)

Wikipedia: Reinventing the wheel
To reinvent the wheel is to duplicate a basic method that has already previously been created or optimized by others.

The inspiration for this idiomatic metaphor lies in the fact that the wheel is the archetype of human ingenuity, both by virtue of the added power and flexibility it affords its users, and also in the ancient origins which allow it to underlie much, if not all, of modern technology. As it has already been invented, and is not considered to have any operational flaws, an attempt to reinvent it would be pointless and add no value to the object, and would be a waste of time, diverting the investigator’s resources from possibly more worthy goals.

Wiktionary: reinvent the wheel
reinvent the wheel
(third-person singular simple present reinvents the wheel, present participle reinventing the wheel, simple past and past participle reinvented the wheel)
1. (idiomatic) To do work unnecessarily when it has already been done satisfactorily by others; to attempt to devise a solution to a problem when a solution already exists.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
to reinvent the wheel: to recreate something that already exists, esp. at the expense of unnecessary time and effort; to repeat effort needlessly.
1956 M. Egan & H. H. Henkle in J. H. Shera et al. Documentation in Action vii. 143 To forestall unnecessary duplication or, as one scientist expressed it, to avoid re-inventing the wheel.
1967 Times 27 Jan. 9/3 (advt.) We are not out to do a technological equivalent of re-inventing the wheel.
1989 J. Churchill Grime & Punishm. (1992) vi. 62 Every generation has to reinvent the wheel.

OCLC WorldCat record
“Without research we continue to reinvent the wheel”
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: AJN, American Journal of Nursing, v74 n8 (197408): 1408

OCLC WorldCat record
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: National Tax Journal, v29 n2 (19760601): 227

OCLC WorldCat record
Let’s not reinvent the wheel : profiles of school/business collaboration
Author: Ian E McNett; Institute for Educational Leadership (Washington, D.C.)
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Institute for Educational Leadership, [1983], ©1982.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t reinvent the wheel : the history of form books in Anglo-American legal literature.
Author: Laurel Davis; Boston College Law Library.
Publisher: [Boston] : Boston College Law Library, 2017.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
REINVENT THE WHEEL : how top leaders leverage well -being for success.
Publisher: [S.l.] : NICHOLAS BREALEY PUB, 2019.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, November 17, 2019 • Permalink