Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Billy Farifield

Abraham Lincoln had one of the greatest minds of all time. Not only presidential, but one of the greatest of any historical figure. Mr. Lincoln was the only president that holds a patent. He obtained U.S. Patent No. 6,469 in 1849. While Lincoln was sailing down the Mississippi River, to New Orleans, his boat became stuck in a dam and only came loose after a struggled effort from Lincoln. A few years later, while sailing the Great Lakes, Lincoln’s ship collided with a sandbar. These two incidents led Lincoln to the idea of his patent. His invention was a set of bellows put on the hull of a ship directly below the water line. Once the ship reaches a shallow spot it cannot cross, the bellows will inflate, making the ship float higher in the water. This made it possible for ships to cross shallow spots they would not normally be able to cross. Some people might argue that Lincoln’s invention doesn’t make him any more important than other presidents simply because his idea was never marketed. But those people would be wrong. His idea is important because he was and still is the only president to ever think of an idea that was all his own. Even as people have become more and more intelligent through the generations since Abraham Lincoln, there has still been no other president to do that, come up with an original idea. To come up with this idea requires a very innovative mind. U.S. Patent No. 6,469 is proof that Abraham Lincoln has one of the most intelligent minds of any president before or after him. Billy Fairfield Fisher Jr./ Sr. High School Fisher, IL