President with a Patent: Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is the only U.S. president to have received a patent.

Young Abraham Lincoln
Young Abraham Lincoln

Before entering politics, Lincoln worked as a lawyer and held a keen interest in engineering and innovation.

Lincoln’s early experiences, including his work as a rail-splitter and a boatman, shaped his character and instilled in him a strong work ethic.

These formative years on the frontier, marked by hard labor and a thirst for knowledge, played a significant role in shaping the future president.

His journey from a humble upbringing to becoming one of the most revered presidents in U.S. history is a testament to his resilience, determination, and leadership qualities.

In 1849, Lincoln was granted a patent for a device designed to lift boats over shoals and other obstacles in a river.

The invention was officially titled “A Device for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals” and it involved bellows attached to the hull of a boat. These bellows could be inflated to lift the boat over shallow waters.

Although Lincoln received the patent, there is no evidence that his invention was ever manufactured or put into practical use.

Patent Model of Abraham Lincoln's Invention
Patent Model of Abraham Lincoln’s Invention

His interest in technology and innovation, however, is reflected in this patent, showcasing a lesser-known aspect of his diverse talents and interests beyond his political and leadership roles.