President’s day was once associated with just Washington (and later Lincoln) but now all Presidents are celebrated today, and by that I mean you might have the day off. Here’s @ MAKE we’re going to take a look at Thomas Jefferson.
Portable copying press – called the polygraph, Jefferson helped perfect this two-pen writing device used to copy letters and used it for all his correspondance. It’s like a manual BCC’ing! Here’s a Quicktime VR of the device.
Plow “Moldboard of least resistance” – using math, Jefferson designed a better plow to lift and turn over sod more effectively – this new plow had a huge impact and instead of patenting the invention, Jefferson gave it away it – to be “solely used for the good of the people and not for the advancement of the inventor, Jefferson encouraged public use of this easily duplicated invention”.
The Great Clock – Jefferson created a cool clock – made from hanging cannonballs, this gravity power clock was connected to a giant gong on the roof of the entrance hall at Monticello. He also needed to invent a folding ladder to repair it (which was later used for other things like getting books and trimming trees).
- Macaroni machine
- Dumb waiters
- Automatic double doors
- Revolving bookstand
- Beds that lift
- Revolving chairs
All these and more can be found at the Jefferson’s inventions page – Link.
- Thomas Jefferson – His Life as an Inventor – Link.
- Jefferson @ Monticello – Link.
- Jefferson @ Wikipedia – Link.