[Lincoln's Invention] Patent Office Report Containing Patent for Abraham Lincoln's Invention. Patent Office Report, 1849-1850, Arts and Manufactures. Washington: Office of Printers to House of Reps., 1850. On May 22, 1849, Lincoln received "Patent No. 6469 - Improved method of lifting Vessels over Shoals". "What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by letters patent, is the combination of expansible buoyant chambers, placed at the sides of a vessel. . . ."

    While on a river trip home to Illinois in 1848, young Congressman Lincoln's boat became stranded on a sandbar. Trying to solve the problem, Lincoln designed a device to free stuck boats by lowering floats on each side of the boat. The floats would be inflated and would then lift the boat out of the sand. Lincoln became familiar with river navigation as a flatboat operator on the Mississippi River in his late teens and early twenties. Even though there is no record that the invention was ever used, Lincoln remains the only president to hold a patent. The report (626 pages) contains some water damage in the front. Near very good.

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    20th Thursday
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