Necessity is the mother of invention as the old adage opines, and taming a wild country certainly qualifies as a necessity. Fascinating it is to realize our founding fathers were inventors as well as statesmen, legislators and leaders. Consider the inventions of our great forefathers…
Bi-focals, the Franklin stove, lightning rod, the glass armonica (musical instrument) and being major supporter of lending libraries, community hospitals, and volunteer fire departments
Drill plow, wheat threshing barn
Iron plow, swivel chair, macaroni press, dumbwaiter, pedometer, folding ladder, and a great clock, wheel cipher
Combination walking stick and microscope
Lest we forget, Thomas Jefferson almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia. Jefferson was also the first administrator of the U.S. Patent Office, the formation of which was empowered by law thru the Constitution. This office is probably our oldest federal agency, and one that through its fee schedule for patent application/maintenance essentially pays for itself.
We would be remiss not mentioning an Edison life-long favorite as well, Thomas Paine, noted for inventing a single-span iron bridge and a smokeless candle. Paine may not be as well-known as the great men mentioned above, but many of the documents of the time and discussions about the kind of government we would have derived from Paine’s logic and sometimes incendiary speeches to rally the populace.
Noteworthy is the kind of process thinking that Franklin, like Edison, proposed. Think how lending libraries, hospitals, and fire departments have made a significant and enduring impact on our quality of life.
Thomas Edison would consider his inventive activities in good company with the founding fathers … practical with great utility!