Inventors and Patents From the City of Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was a mechanically curious lawyer and inventor. His interest in machinery led him to invent a device for freeing beached vessels. The device used waterproof fabric bladders that could be inflated to buoy stuck vessels over shoals. An accordion-shaped air chamber on the side of the boat inflated the bladders, which would then free the stuck vessel. Although the device never found its way onto a ship, Lincoln was able to build a scale model and test it.
One of Abraham Lincoln’s inventions is a way to lift boats over river obstructions. He conceived this idea after his boat got stuck twice. This invention was later patented, making it easier for river users to navigate the water. Its popularity has grown over the years. Today, the Lincoln Lift is still in use, but its inventor is no longer alive.
While his waterwheel was never commercialized, the inventor had the vision to develop the waterwheel and patent it. His fascination with transportation continued throughout his life, even before he became President. During his pre-presidential years, Lincoln handled numerous cases involving transportation. He was interested in observation balloons and ironclad ships, and he also signed two laws that helped build the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Another invention that Lincoln made was a floating boat. Although this type of boat did not exist until the 1800s, Lincoln envisioned a way to make it easier to navigate in rough water. He also thought about making a device that could lift a boat above water. This device would enable a boat to avoid shoals without needing to detach from shore.
One of the reasons for this device is that it helps protect riverboats from sandbars. His invention was patented in 1859. This patent was the only one held by a U.S. president. The steamboat was a vital link in the movement of soldiers during the Civil War. During a war, the risk of running aground can be catastrophic.
The steamboat was expensive to operate. At the time, a small steamboat cost approximately $12,000 (about $350,000 today), and a large one could cost $1 million or more. A steamboat’s weight also could prove to be an obstacle during a voyage. As a result, the steamboat owners might have been dubious of Lincoln’s invention.
Lincoln was focused on river navigation issues during his time as president, and he filed a patent application in 1849 for a buoyant air chamber that would help boats cross shoals. His idea used adjustable buoyant air chambers attached to the sides of a boat. It would then be inflated to lift the boat over obstacles in the water. The Smithsonian Institution displays a model of Lincoln’s invention.
Thomas Edison was a prolific inventor who won a record 1,093 patents. His innovations were instrumental to bringing about the modern age of electricity. These inventions included the incandescent light bulb, motion picture camera, and alkaline battery. He also founded the first industrial research laboratory. As a result of his innovations, he quickly became famous.
Thomas Edison started out as a young man working as a telegraph operator. He worked at several telegraph offices and even for the Western Union Company in Boston. He was a hard worker, putting in up to twelve-hour days and developing inventions at night.
He also invented the film projector, which changed the way motion pictures were made. He later used his invention to create The Life of Abraham Lincoln, a silent film with a musical soundtrack. This invention expanded the length of motion pictures, taking up two reels. It was advertised as a comprehensive review of Lincoln’s life.
Edison’s childhood was not ideal. His father was a minister and his mother was a Presbyterian. His parents stressed the importance of education. The young Edison went on to earn a teaching degree. His mother was an avid reader, and even taught herself science.
In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. He first demonstrated his new invention in Washington, D.C., on November 29. The phonograph was a sensation. Abraham Lincoln also created the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. The President of the National Academy of Sciences, Joseph Henry, was Lincoln’s unofficial science adviser during the Civil War.
Thomas Edison was interested in telegraphy. He learned to build a telegraph while he was still a teenager. Later, he worked for a telegraph company in Port Huron. During this time, he almost blew up the office while experimenting. He spent the next five years working in the telegraph industry, traveling around the country for five years. He also suffered from moderate deafness, so he worked on devices that would help him despite his deafness.
In 1886, Edison married Mina Miller. He proposed to his future wife in Morse code. His home was about 20 miles from Menlo Park. Today, visitors can visit the home where Edison invented his light bulb and other inventions. The museum is located at 75 Lincoln Highway. Nearby, you can enjoy a delicious meal at Villa Gennaro, which serves traditional Italian fare. The restaurant also offers a BYOB policy. You can also indulge in a delicious brick oven pizza.
Clarissa Britain was a pioneer in the field of medical technology in the late 19th century. She was born in New York but lived in seven different states over her lifetime. In 1841, she settled in St. Joseph, Michigan, and later moved to Beaufort, S.C., which was in the axis of the Confederacy. In 1860, it was part of the Confederate state of South Carolina, and she taught at a girls’ school.
In 1830, she patented a method of making paper clips. This process was later adopted by several companies, including Philips, GE, and Ford Motor Company. Her patent, which is named after a famous chemist, became a major source of income for her family.
In 1851, she married a man named Lorenzo Benedict. The two had a son named William Lewis Hubbell. Their children were named after their fathers and a number of inventors. Eventually, they would make a lot of inventions, including a steam engine.
Clarissa Britain was also a pioneer in the field of medicine. She invented a number of medical devices, including a stethoscope. Her patented invention was the first to be used on the market. Her inventions grew to become very successful in the United States. Her family owned four pairs of old stocks, two pairs of shoes, fifteen Smauler silver buttons, two best bed blankits, two old dittos, and one Chekard ditto. She also owned a silver cup and tankard, and a bras kittel.
Abraham Lincoln’s interest in mechanical engineering led him to invent a device for freeing beached vessels. The device involved inflating waterproof fabric bladders that would buoy stuck vessels over shoals. The bladders would be inflated by accordion-shaped air chambers on the side of the ship. Lincoln was so fascinated with his idea that he built a scale model of his invention. However, he never fitted the device to an actual ship.
The Transcontinental Railroad was another major goal for Abraham Lincoln during his presidency. Although the project did not finish until 1869, it was built upon the foundations laid by the Civil War. Lincoln was a Whig before becoming a Republican and was very invested in improving the state’s internal infrastructure. In Illinois, he passed a massive internal improvements package that ended up costing the state a fortune.
In 1861, the civil war broke out and Abraham Lincoln was president. In the ensuing conflict, there was a need for new arms. The resulting need for guns created an opportunity for inventors to create new products. In Washington, armed men were testing new guns in factories, and Lincoln took great interest in this. He often tried the new guns himself. One time, he even brought along a clerk from the navy department to test the gun.
Abraham Lincoln was one of America’s greatest presidents. He supported and promoted many important new technologies throughout his political career. He was the son of a farmer and was particularly interested in agricultural innovation. In 1859, he spoke passionately about the prospects of the steam plow at the Wisconsin State Fair. During the Civil War, he tested weapons outside the White House and was a strong supporter of railroads. He also made the telegraph an essential tool for presidential communications.
Abraham Lincoln also submitted a patent for a buoyant air chamber on March 10, 1849. The design was based on his experiences on the Mississippi River as a young man. This made him the first US President to hold a patent. His scale model of the device is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.