Abraham Lincoln the Inventor
Lincoln's engineering and technical innovation were essential in shaping his outlook
Abraham Lincoln is the only president in American history to hold a patent for an invention. In the late 1840's he created a model for a "device to buoy vessels over shoals". Many Lincoln scholars view his invention as a footnote to his political legacy. Author Jason Emerson however thinks otherwise. In his new book "Lincoln the inventor" Emerson argues that Lincoln's keen interest in engineering and technical innovation were essential in shaping his outlook and eventually his presidency. I recently spoke with Emerson on the phone from his home in Upstate New York.