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The Art of Invention


Buoyancy - Abraham Lincoln


To the Quiz


Buoying Vessels Over Shoals


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the future 16th President, observed a river boat that had run aground near his office in Springfield Il. After watching the river men unload the cargo to lighten the vessel so it could be floated off the sand bar, he returned to his office and made a model of the device he later patented. The invention added buoyancy to a riverboat which raised the hull. It could then pass through shallow waters without having to unload their cargo. 

It is not known if the device was ever actually fabricated and installed on a riverboat. However, the the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has the original patent model and provides a replica of the model for museums and traveling shows.

Mr. Lincoln is the only president to have a patent

Some great links:



The above double-matted, framed patent can be yours!

A piece of history about a beloved President

All patent art is double-matted 16" x 20" with flat-black frame.

A full copy of the patent is included along with the historical context for the invention.

Price: $180.00 USD

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Last updated: 17 March, 2003

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 The Art of Invention (c) Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003 by Wes Bruning