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Abraham Lincoln's patent model for buoying vessels over shoals, 1849

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Abraham Lincoln's patent model for buoying vessels over shoals, 1849
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 90-7410

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Marine Patent Models — Complete Catalog: before 1850

Technology
Marine Patent Models — Who's Inventing?

Technology
Marine Patent Models — Steering the Way


Abraham Lincoln's patent model
Catalog #: 31,940, Accession #: 48,865
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection

Shallow water was a chronic problem for boats on America's western rivers. Lawyer Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois, thought inflatable rubber-cloth chambers could make boats more buoyant on demand. He patented his idea in 1849, submitting this model along with his application. Although his "adjustable buoyant chambers" proved impractical, Lincoln became the only person elected president ever to hold a U.S. patent.

Physical Description

Lincoln's model is 27" L x 10" H x 4 1/2" W.

Details
Date Made:
1849
Locations:
Illinois
Note:
Springfield
Credit:
Transfer from the U.S. Patent Office
History

Ref:

Abraham Lincoln, Buoying Vessels over Shoals, U.S. patent no. 6,469, May 22, 1849.


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