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It was 173 years ago today, May 22, 1849, when Abraham Lincoln received a patent from the U.S. government, the only President to have ever been awarded such an honor.
Before being elected and earning a living as a lawyer, Lincoln worked on several riverboats. Whilst employed, at least two times his boats got stuck on rocks. To solve this problem, Lincoln created a device that placed bellows on the starboard and port sides of a ship. Once the craft was stuck on the rocks, the bellows could be inflated, thereby allowing the boat to regain buoyancy and float off the rocks. Lincoln’s “Buoying Vessels Over Shoals” device was never implemented, as he went to Washington as a Republican Representative of Illinois.
Still today Lincoln’s model of his device is on display at the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C. 173 years ago today man’s self-determination to fix a problem was backed by the U.S. Patent office.
What was happening yesterday, on May 20th?