In the spirit of the presidential election hype, we did our research and found four presidents who are also famous inventors:
The original ruler of the free land’s favorite pastime was farming, which lead to several inventions for the feilds. His first invention is known as a Drill Plow, which he devised in order to improve the method for seeding fields. It is a wheeled plow which contains a cylinder that when the plow is in motion rotates and drops seeds out of pipes on the bottom. Washington also invented the Threshing Barn, a sixteen-sided brick barn. The Threshing Barn was a much more efficient and sanitary way to thresh wheat, traditionally done by hand or by being trampled by
horses on open ground back in the day.
Bonus: In 1772 President Washington requested to have his name as a trademark for flour.
Jefferson, a famous inventor, created numerous innovations in his time. However, he never attempted to get a patent for any of them. Some of his inventions include a macaroni machine, the swivel chair, a spherical sundial, a special type of plow, and a cipher wheel that served as a way for people to code and decode messages. In his home, Jefferson created a dumbwaiter pully system to get wine from his cellar and two “magic doors” where when one side was pushed the other automatically mirrored it. (Side note, we would enjoy both of these in our homes!) We would like to offer Jefferson a special thank you for also being responsible for bringing us macaroni, ice cream, waffles, and French fries to the US.
James Madison invented the walking stick. To be clear, this wasn’t just any walking stick, it contained a built-in microscope so the user could inspect organisms on the ground without having to lean over. The only problem with this unique invention is that it was designed for a five-foot tall male, not a big target market.
President Lincoln to this day is the only President to hold a patent. In 1849 he received Patent Number 6469 for “Buoying Vessels Over Shoals,” a device that lifts boats over shoals and sandbars in rivers. When activated, the invention would inflate air chambers at the bottom of the vessel to lift it above the waters surface in order to avoid the obstacle. During the invention process, Lincoln created a model designed to scale of a ship with the device. This model is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Oddly enough, this invention was never manufactured due to the fear that the extra weight of the air chambers would make the vessel more likely to be stuck.
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