We're on the cusp of the Presidents Day holiday weekend in the U.S. While the nation's airwaves are once again full of advertisements for car and mattress sales, which is how American businesses have come to celebrate the event, the Inventions in Everything team is going to take a different route and celebrate the inventiveness of past U.S. Presidents.
As it happens, there's only one American President to whom a U.S. patent has ever been issued for something they invented. Abraham Lincoln was issued U.S. Patent 6,469 for his 1849 invention of a manner for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals. Here's the U.S. patent equivalent of Lincoln's later Gettysburg Address:
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the County of Sangamon, in the State of Illinois, have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draght of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water without discharging their cargoes; and I do hereby declare the following the be a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings making a part of this specification.
Here are the accompanying drawings:
Better still, there's a physical model of Lincoln's patented invention on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History:
In 2013, Charles Kuralt narrated a 48-minute video segment celebrating Lincoln's patented invention on CBS News' Sunday Morning broadcast. His slow-paced, anachronistic style works well in bringing the story of Lincoln's pre-Civil War era invention for an America that traveled by river to life, where we do recommend clicking through to view it.
From the Inventions in Everything Archives
There aren't any other inventions by those who became U.S. Presidents, but the IIE team has previously covered the following seaworthy inventions: