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Lincoln the Inventor Paperback – January 15, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“You will come away from Lincoln the Inventor the wiser for understanding how the mind that devised a patent for floating grounded river boats could also be the same mind that turned out the perfectly-balanced phrases of the Gettysburg Address, labored to promote transportation as the keystone to economic mobility, and piloted emancipation through the shoals of war.”—Allen C. Guelzo, author of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America

 



Lincoln the Inventor is an excellent book presenting new information about Abraham Lincoln, providing still another example of his intellectual genius. This well-organized and thoroughly researched work adds to Jason Emerson’s growing reputation as a young Lincoln scholar of note.”—Richard W. Etulain, author of Beyond the Missouri: The Story of the American West

About the Author

Jason Emerson, the author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln, is an independent historian and freelance writer whose articles have appeared in American Heritage, American History, and Civil War Times magazines, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Lincoln Herald, and Lincoln Forum Bulletin. He is writing a biography of Robert T. Lincoln, to be published by Southern Illinois University Press.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st Edition edition (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809328976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809328970
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,799,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Lincoln the inventor gives a rare look into the mind of one of out greatest presidents.

Not only was Abraham Lincoln the only US President that holds a patent from the US patient office he has a scientific mind that pervaded much how he handled his presidency the conduct of the war and his legacy too us all..

It's a relatively short book that any student of Lincoln or history would find captivating.
Emerson continues to give new insights into the Lincolns.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Be it known that I have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes."

So begins the text of United States Patent #6,469 awarded to Abraham Lincoln for a method of "Buoying Vessels Over Shoals."

Lincoln's invention, his penchant for things scientific and mechanical, and his lecture "Discoveries and Inventions" is the subject of a terrific new book - Lincoln, the Inventor - by Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln.

I purchased the book yesterday, stayed up last night to read it, and was not disappointed. Here are some hi-lights for me:

1) The book is short (about 50 pages of text with another 25 pages of Appendices). Jason Emerson makes no apologies for the shortness. In fact, he is disappointed that "the publication of short books and monographs has lessened extensively in recent years," adding, " The page count of a work should have no impact on its overall historical, literary, or pedagogical value." (p. xiii) Indeed! Mr. Emerson packs a lot of information into this short book and it is supported by a great amount of scholarship.

2) In the first part of the book, Mr. Emerson describes Lincoln's general interest in science and invention and how that played out in his personal life (he devoured books on astronomy, geometry, and mechanics), his legislative agenda (he supported infrastructure projects), and as an inventor himself (somewhat to the chagrin of his peers). I was familiar with some of the information and anecdotes from my own reading and research on Lincoln, but Mr.
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Format: Paperback
On May 22, 1849, the U.S. government awarded patent number 6469 to Abraham Lincoln, for "a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel," to lift the boat over shoals or other shallow water. In this short book Jason Emerson recounts the history behind Lincoln's invention, from his youthful experiences as a flatboat crewman through his testing a model of the device in a Springfield, Illinois, horse trough. After telling the story of the patent, Emerson uses it as a starting point for examining Lincoln's "mechanical mind," his fascination with tools, machinery and other mechanisms that controlled physical forces for useful purposes. Emerson also reexamines Lincoln's speech on "Discoveries and Inventions" and places it in context with his interest in physics and mechanics.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A concise, thoughtful study of Mr. Lincoln's one patent and his assorted comments on inventions. The material in both the appendixes and chapter notes of this book reward your reading.

Evidence of the hard logical power of this man's mind is presented here, giving one a better understanding of the optimism and faith in improvements that led to his political leadership in uprooting the South's entrenched system of human slavery.

(In my opinion, the book's jacket design by Tom Brynes is quite good.)
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Format: Hardcover
Review of ‘Lincoln the inventor’ by Jason Emerson

CITATION: Emerson, J. (2009). Lincoln the inventor. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Reviewer: Dr William P. Palmer

Abraham Lincoln was the only United States President to have successfully filed a Patent. He was said to have a mechanical turn of mind.The book ‘Lincoln the inventor’ is a short one of just 111 pages, though without the appendices, references etc. the written text is reduced to only 53 pages. There are several very good black and white sketches, which illustrate Lincoln’s patented invention of a ‘device to buoy vessels over shoals’. The book concentrates on this invention, which has in general been ignored by other biographers, so we are given an insight into an aspect of Lincoln’s inventive and mechanical character.

Lincoln was believed to have written two lectures on the subject of invention that have been considered inferior to other materials that he produced. The two lectures are now generally considered to be the first and second parts of a single lecture which Lincoln tried to use as a fundraiser, though he had little success in this regard. The books author, Jason Emerson, still hopes that a full text of the lecture may be found one day, but readers of this book can see for themselves what is currently available of Lincoln’s thoughts on invention. A useful historical snippet!

BILL PALMER
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