Lincoln’s Patent

Lincoln’s Patent

The first paragraph of US patent 6469 reveals
nothing that would give the reader any thought to the future greatness of the inventor. The patent is for an improvement to help boats
pass over sandbars by adding “adjustable buoyant air chambers” to the bottom of the
boat. Though uncomplicated and rather simplified,
the patent seems like it was written by a ship merchant or an engineer – not a lawyer
and politician who would become the President of the United States. On March 10, 1849, 12 years before he was
elected US Commander-in-Chief, Abraham Lincoln submitted this patent, which he called “Buoying
Vessels Over Shoals,” with the design and idea for the invention having its roots in
his voyages as a young man along the Mississippi River. He’s the only US President to ever submit
a patent. In 1828, at the age of 19, Lincoln was offered
a job by a wealthy Indiana landowner, James Gentry, to help take a flatboat full of produce
and cured meat along the Mississippi to New Orleans. At eight dollars a month (a little under $200
today), it certainly wasn’t a high-paying job, but it did give the teen a chance for
an adventure. Prior to his trip, he had spent his entire
life on farms and homesteads in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, knowing nothing of life
beyond those borders. Gentry offered him the job simply due to happenstance. He owned a store, of which the Lincoln family
were patrons. Knowing that Abe was close to the same age
as his own son, Allen – who was to captain the boat, and capable of the tasks needed
to be done, Gentry asked Abe. While, very unfortunately, neither Gentry
nor Lincoln took notes or kept a diary during the trip, there are a few known events that
happened during the voyage. For one, the small flatboat had a real problem
with sandbars. When in shallow waters and weighed down by
its cargo, the ship often got stuck, which meant cargo had to be unloaded to make it
lighter and the craft pushed out and then re-loaded. This was a tedious, hard, time-sucking and
a potentially dangerous task. Another thing that’s known is that the ship
was attacked near Baton Rouge by a group that could be best described as river pirates. Looking for cargo and money, the ship was
nearly overtaken by this group of men who had the intent of robbing and, perhaps, killing
Lincoln and his companion if need be. Gentry and Lincoln were able to fight them
off long enough to cut anchor and barely escape. The last specific detail known from this trip
is the stuff of legend. Years later, Allen Gentry would continue telling
this story, stating that Lincoln’s future as the “Great Emancipator” was sown on
that trip South. According to Gentry, upon landing in New Orleans,
Lincoln saw the notorious slave markets of the city and was disgusted. Supposedly he said to Gentry at the time,
“Allen, this is a disgrace. If I ever get a lick at this thing, I’ll
hit it hard.” Whether he actually said those specific words
as Gentry claimed, 35 years later, he did exactly that – issuing the Emancipation
Proclamation, which freed slaves from all Southern territories. Three years later, in 1831, Lincoln journeyed
along the Mississippi again while experiencing many of the same things he did the first time. In fact, it seems the issue with sandbars
became even more pronounced, with written records stating that Lincoln and his crew
lost time and cargo dealing with the matter of the ship being stuck on a sandbar. There’s a prophetic story from even before
leaving Illinois in 1831, with the ship getting stuck along the Sangamon River on a dam and
taking on water. Lincoln rushed to the nearby cooper shop (a
place where wooden barrels & casks were made), got an auger, drilled a hole in the side of
the ship and proceeded to let the water run out. Then, he pushed the ship by himself off the
dam. A year later, when running for the Illinois
General Assembly from Sangamon County, one of his key platform points was improving the
navigation of the river to bring more trade to the county. Said Lincoln in a 1832 speech, “I believe
the improvement of the Sangamon River, to be vastly important and highly desirable to
the people of this county.” While he was defeated in his 1832 run for
political office, Lincoln was ultimately successful two years later when he was elected to the
Illinois General Assembly. While he didn’t achieve much in regards
to improving the navigation of the river while in the General Assembly, this issue still
nagged him. After two years there, he moved on to the
Illinois House of Representative and then into the US Capitol as a Congressman in 1847. Constantly traveling the Sangamon River and
often getting stuck, this finally pushed him to do something about it. Working on the patent in between Congressional
sessions, he finally completed and submitted it days after finishing out his term as Congressmen. Submitted on March 10, 1849, it revealed his
interest and knowledge in better water transportation. As a lawyer, he understood that patents allowed
for certain protections in terms of intellectual property. In fact, ten years later, he delivered a speech
in which he championed patents by saying they are the “fuel of interest to the fire of
genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.” He also understood that, at the time, patents
needed to be accompanied by a model. Working with a Springfield mechanic, he whittled
a model of a ship with his buoying device. Said his law partner at the time, “Occasionally
he would bring the model in the office, and while whittling on it would descant on its
merits and the revolution it was destined to work in steamboat navigation. Although I regarded the thing as impracticable
I said nothing, probably out of respect for Lincoln’s well-known reputation as a boatman.” Today, that model and patent application is
at the National Museum of American History, but there’s some dispute over exactly what
the Museum has in its collection. While a curator told Smithsonian Magazine
in 2006 that the model is “one of the half dozen or so most valuable things in our collection,”
it is possible that what they have is in fact a replica. The nameplate on top of the model reads “Abram
Lincoln,” a misspelling that has led some to believe that it’s a fake because Lincoln
would have never misspelled his own name. It is also possible that the plate was added
after Lincoln submitted it, but that may never be known – while his signature could be
on the model, it is buried underneath centuries-old varnish. As for the patent itself, there’s little
doubt that this is authentic and in the hand-writing of Lincoln. But there’s one crucial part missing – his
signature, which was likely cut out and taken by a collector who had access to the patent
in the 19th century. The 30th Vice President of the United States,
Charles Gates Dawes, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1925 and was a self-taught pianist and
composer who composed the 1912 hit song, “Melody in A Major,” which was eventually used in
Tommy Edwards’ 1958 #1 hit (for a then record six weeks) “It’s All in the Game.” It has since become a pop standard, having
been performed and covered by artists like The Four Tops, Isaac Hayes, Van Morrison,
Elton John, the Osmonds, and Barry Manilow.

100 thoughts on “Lincoln’s Patent

  1. 5:13– Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States! Charles Dawes was his Vice President!

  2. No! It only freed slaves from CSA territories outside US control. Slaves in all other parts of the CSA territories currently under US control were still held in slavery.

  3. Today I found out Charles Gates Dawes was the 30th President of the US…which isn't correct. He was Vice President.
    Always verify, a source need not be malicious to mislead.

  4. @today I found out Charles Gates Dawes was the VICE president to the 30th president, Calvin Coolidge.

  5. Everyone loves to bring up the Emancipation Proclamation but they always leave out the fact that he originally created it to punish the South after the civil war. It didn't apply to the entire country until later.. They also fail to mention that he wasn't exactly fond of blacks and had planned to deport all blacks to Liberia because he felt that blacks and whites were not compatible. He was assassinated before he could carry out the deportation. Many believe that the reason why he was assassinated because Democrats didn't want blacks deported since they could still hire them for labor much cheaper than paying whites.

  6. Those pirates had one job one job and they gained miserably. If they had killed him then. Millions of lives could have been saved.

  7. Bonus Lincoln fact #2: Although it is well known that there is no recording of any of Lincoln’s speeches, how he sounded has for the most part been guess work by scores of actors since his demise. However, it was repeatedly pointed out that his son, Robert Todd Lincoln, did sound remarkably like his father and there is in fact a recording of one of his speeches in existence.

  8. Listening with headphones on and it sounds like a music box playing in the background for the whole thing. Never noticed it previously in other videos. I was about to go to bed, laying here in thel dark. Not now. Creepy af.

  9. Simon, you do know that Lincoln wrote in a letter to Horace Greeley, 'If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.'? He didn't get into the war to free the slaves, he got into it to save the Union. Link for verification:

  10. There was a time when our leaders were brilliant men of elite intelligence. Today our leader is Trump, a man who can barely spell in 140 characters.

  11. The Charles Gates Dawes mis-statement as the thirtieth president frightened me. I thought I was caught in another mandela dimensional jump (I hate it when that happens) and expected to find that Eisenhower died during the war in Europe and that Nixon became president in 1952.

  12. Simon's narration seems faster here than in other installments. While the topic was fascinating, the hurried presentation was off-putting.

  13. After reading a few comments I get the issue with the thumbnail. It's not clickbait, because that would imply that there is something false about it. But it's just not what we are used to and expect from TIFO. It seems less adult and professional than the older ones. I prefer the older look as well, but wouldn't call it clickbait. I do understand the desire to be more visually appealing and pull in more new people. But this style of thumbnail doesn't fit your channel in my opinion. The bright colors and reaction face take away from the snippet about the content in it. Your content is your strong point and why we are here. Feeling like you're trying to sell something sensational to us is off-putting.

  14. The emancipation proclamation freed the slaves in states in rebellion but not slaves in the north. It was a political move not a moral one.

  15. Adding additional buoyancy to a ship to lift it over shallow waters or to upright one . Is well known and has been used at least the 1740's. The tanks lashed to each side are called camels . Last time this came to the public notice was when it was used with the cruise ship Costa Concordia .

  16. Relevant information: US #6469 Bowing Vessels Over Shoals 3:39 to 4:23.

  17. 4:40 "Lincoln would never have misspelled his own name." Not necessarily. Consistent spelling wasn't really a big deal before the mid 19th century. For example, John Adams would sometimes spell his last name with one "D" and sometimes with two; sometimes both spellings in the same document. Another example, the last people to sign the United States Constitution were the delegates from the state of "Pensylvania". Spelling, both of regular words and names, just wasn't a big deal. It started becoming more universal when Webster published his extended dictionary in 1828. Even then, it was a gradual thing. Twenty years later, especially an uneducated man (and Lincoln had very little formal education), misspelling his own name, wouldn't be that unusual. Especially because "Abraham" and "Abram" are linked — they're the same man in the Bible.

  18. I think we can give Simon a break on this one. That's an easy enough slip of the tongue.

    Anyway, I'm certain there are far too many native born Americans who you could tell Mickey Mouse was the 30th President and they wouldn't know any better.

  19. Simon….. I don’t think you know your audience very well !!!!!
    First you keep recommending a YouTube Channel most of us HATE, assuring us “you will definitely Love it” (dafaq?!?!?!?), and now you are telling us we’re going to love a Podcast, when a quick look at your Sub-Reddits (Simon Miller, TIFO, BioGraphicals & Top Tenz each have individual ones, then one group one) reveals MOST OF US (your loyal viewers) HATE PODCASTS !!!!!!!! 🤨

  20. Dawes was the 30th VICE President.
    Charles Gates Dawes (August 27, 1865 – April 23, 1951) was an American banker, general, diplomat, and Republican politician who was the 30th Vice President of the United States from 1925 to 1929.

  21. Soooo…did he ever make any money off of it? You didn't mention it selling well, so I'm assuming it went as poorly as his law partner assumed.

  22. Actually Lincoln invented stairs, previously if you wanted to get to the second floor, you had to point a rocket at your feet and pull the trigger, sure it was dangerous and dehiblitating, but what were you going to do, never go upstairs? That's where your bed was.

  23. Dude the immaptopn pracamation did not do anything,, It had no effect on the states that were in rebellion, and it did not touch the four states that had slaves but were not in rebellion, and it had no effect on the slaveholders in parts of northern states , like New Jersey and Maine. Only the thirteenth amendment had any real effect as it outlawed slavery everywhere in the US.

  24. At the height of the Civil War on August 22, 1862 Lincoln in a letter to Horace Greeley wrote' "…. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; ….."

  25. You need to read the Emancipation Proclamation. It only freed slaves in areas of the Confederacy under Confederate control. If one looks at this logically that means that it effectively freed no slaves. The purpose of the document was political in nature, to keep France and Great Britain out of the war. The slaves were actually freed by a Constitutional Amendment after the war's conclusion.

  26. Adjustable buoyancy chambers does not sound workable. Detachable wheels that could be installed just before reaching shallow water and removed once said area has been passed would work much better. If headed downstream you could even use the water current to drive the vessel over the sand bars. Why, oh why, was I born too late to make fortunes off of simple ideas like this?

  27. Charles WHO? 30th President of the U.S. was Calvin Coolidge. There was never a president Dawes or Dors. What Mandela crap are you preaching

  28. Abraham Lincoln was a well respected president and it's hard to separate the facts from the myths as to many of the purported actions he took during his lifetime. Many of the apocryphal tales attributed to him are based upon hearsay and much of that could be attributed to a person wanting to make themselves seem a little bit more important for imparting their alleged accounts. This is in my view a testament to a great man and leader of this now blighted country.

  29. Unfortunately, Simon, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave in the CSA, the US occupied Confederate States, nor free any slaves in the USA.

  30. No the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves that were in states that rebellion to the America.

  31. I am a little disappointed with the fact that I've never heard you whistle, Simon. Great content and delivery though.

  32. Charles Gates Daws was not the 30th US President. He was the Vice President under Silent Cal. Calvin Coolidge. Great channel and videos.

  33. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't free all slaves in the South. Technically, it didn't free any slaves. It claimed to free all slaves in the territories currently in rebellion, however it freed no slaves in the Boarder States, (states that allowed slavery but stayed loyal to the Union.) It was made to appease the abolitionist base that elected Lincoln, while turning the Union cause into a moral crusade, as support for the war was lackluster by 1862. It was also hoped that the slave population would rise up against the Confederacy and hinder their army and resources even further then they already were. I'm not trying to take away from it's symbolic importance, just calling attention to the fact that the truth of the matter is a lot more nuanced.

  34. Lmao, no he didnt. Do real researcg dude. Start with Lincoln's 1861 inaugural address where he states he has no interest in the issue of slavery nor did he feel he had the right to change such. Im fact he even said openly, and this can all be found easily at the national archives, that he believed the separation of the races was priority. He said it was best for the amalgamation of which was likely never needed for blacks. He felt the mixing of race bloods would lead to "bastard children". He also stated, and i quote "there is physical difference that will likely forever keep the two races separate, and it must be so. And i as well as any man am in favor of the title of the supior race being assigned to the white race pr which i belong".

    Seriously Vsauce, do real research. It not hard to find all of Lincoln's actual written word in this issue.


  35. Now that you know all about Lincoln's patent check out this video and find out the answer to the question- Why are There No B Batteries?:

  36. Yeah… Lincoln was incredibly racist. Freeing the slaves was simply a political move against the Confederacy. If you don't believe me, then do your own research. Google it. He wasn't a great anything.

  37. Charles Gates Dawes was vice president, not president of the United States. That's fair though, I couldn't tell you who the 30th king of England was.

  38. Dawes Was the 30th vice Pres. of the United States. Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States. Dawes also shared the peace prize in 1925.

  39. I’m 100% sure that he never said that about the slave market in New Orleans. It’s written in his own journals that he felt black peoples and native Americans were inferior to whites. In fact he’s given so much credit for ending slavery but the truth is rarely ever told that he said it was the only way he felt the union would survive. His speech stated that if he could save the union and keep slavery he would do so. If he could save the union while allowing certain states to keep their slaves he would do that as well. In his journal he wrote that all black people should be kept segregated from whites if not sent back to Africa altogether! The democrats in America would like the world to believe that ole honest Abe was man of democracy and ahead of his time just like they would have the world forget that it was the republicans who freed the slaves and the demoncrats who were against it!

  40. Yeah, I know this story. I live in Central Illinois very close to Sangamon county and his home in New Salem.

  41. Might Lincoln have been talking about licking a BBC then bending the slave over and hitting it hard. A odd quote indeed.

  42. While Charles was a Vice-President of the US of A….. holy crap he wrote that song; what a horrible song title, but a great song.

  43. Very interesting Video,but as a man who has gone to see in ships,I find it hard to fadom a guy drills a hole in a SHIP and pushes said ship off a Reef.Some thing very fishy with that fact.You dont drain ships any boat with holes,and stuck on sand,super human strength to pull it free.But may be i am wrong just saying

  44. “Which freed slaves from all southern territories” while they were under the control of a different government…

    That is like Sam Walton (WALMART) saying everything is free at Smith’s, Albertson’s and the Piggly Wiggly!

    The 13th amendment freed slaves… after the war was over, and some northern states like Delaware kept their slaves right up until after the 13th amendment had been ratified…. yep, slaves in the north still after the civil war was over….. surprise, that war wasn’t about slavery….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *