Wednesday is my night to cook dinner. But it is also a weekly opportunity for me to share some fantastic drivel—things you didn’t care you didn’t know—with you, dear reader.
November 19 gives us two reasons to celebrate. Firstly, and less importantly, it is the anniversary of Milli Vanilli’s de-GRAMMYfication. That’s right: they lost their GRAMMY award because it was discovered that they were not the singers on their album. Secondly, and more importantly, it is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address—one of the most powerful pieces in the history of the United States and one of the greatest works in the history of the English language.
Click more to find out what I made, and to see these graphics in detail!
drawings from Abraham Lincoln’s patent
It was 164 years ago today that Abraham Lincoln was awarded a patent for an improved method of buoying vessels over shoals. Kind of like water wings for a riverboat.
After reporting to Washington for his two year term in Congress (beginning March 1847), Lincoln retained Zenas C. Robbins, patent attorney. Robbins most probably had drawings done by Robert Washington Fenwick, his apprentice artist. Robbins processed the application, which became patent No. 6,469 on 22 May 1849. However, it was never produced for practical use. There are doubts as to whether it would have actually worked: It “likely would not have been practical,” stated Paul Johnston, curator of maritime history at the National Museum of American History, “because you need a lot of force to get the buoyant chambers even two feet down into the water. My gut feeling is that it might have been made to work, but Lincoln’s considerable talents lay elsewhere.” |from Wikipedia
To paraphrase Mr. Johnston, “Abraham Lincoln was probably better at other stuff (preserving the Union through a devastating Civil War, abolishing slavery, changing the course of human history, etc.) than he was at inventing improved methods for buoying vessels over shoals.” Truth.
Nevertheless, Lincoln is the only President in U.S. history to have been awarded a patent. How about that.