BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE U.S. PRESIDENTS: 8 Odd Things Inspired by Our Leaders of This Free Nation

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Now a days, most presidents are too busy spending time on the golf course to do anything creative with their lives.

These world leaders had more contributions to our country than just foreign policy and a great head of hair.

Many things we still use today were invented or inspired by these presidents, including household staples like air conditioning and teddy bears. Others, like jazzed-up walking sticks and steamboat improvements, have sadly fallen out of favor.

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So this President’s Day, be thankful for more than just a three-day weekend and legions of President’s Day sales.

Be thankful that we elected into our highest office men of ingenuity and creativity, even if they weren’t the most egalitarian men for the job (looking at you, Teddy Roosevelt).

1. Abraham Lincoln: Boat lift


Our 16th president is the only one (so far) to hold a patent. Frustrated by his own boats becoming stuck on sandbars, he imagined a bellows-like mechanism that inflates to lift boats over obstacles.

2. James Madison: Walking stick with a microscope


Madison, the 4th president, came up with this nifty device that incorporated a microscope into a walking stick, allowing nature lovers to get a closer look at the cool stuff around them (without bending down to do it.)

3. Thomas Jefferson: Wheel cipher for coding


Thomas Jefferson is the most prolific inventor among the presidents, though he never patented his creations. Among his many ideas was this wheel cipher that allowed him to send coded messages back home while he was serving as America’s minister to France from 1784 to 1789.

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