Thomas Jefferson, co-author, Declaration of Independence, US President, slave owner, inventor, architect, American
"Thomas Jefferson, the co-author of the Declaration of Independence, whose signing we in the United States celebrate today, was considered an expert in architecture, civil engineering, geography, mathematics, ethnology, anthropology, mechanics, and the sciences
. Although Jefferson never failed to acknowledge that in science he was 'an amateur,' Jefferson's home at Monticello was filled with examples of his scientific philosophy. An inventor and gadgeteer of great ingenuity, Jefferson's practical innovations or improvements on others inventions
included: the swivel chair, the polygraph, letter press, hemp break, pedometer, mouldboard plow, sulky, folding chair, dumb-waiter, double acting doors, and a seven day clock.
Throughout his life Jefferson experimented in agriculture
with studies in crop rotation, soil cultivation, animal breeding, pest control, agricultural implements and improvement of seeds.
Jefferson promoted science as President by recommending to Congress a coast survey to accurately chart the coast of America that later evolved into the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey
Jefferson's testimony before Congress led to the establishment of the Naval Observatory
, the Hydrographic Office
, and a Plan_for_Establishing_Uniformity_in_the_Coinage,_Weights,_and_Measures_of_the_United_States
. Jefferson's report to Congress on a plan of coinage and weights and measures based on the decimal system was expanded into the National Bureau of Standards
Jefferson never applied for a patent, which was consistent in his belief in the natural right of all mankind to share useful improvements without restraint.
A very interesting fellow.
Things have changed dramatically over the last 236 years, not the least of which are in regard to patents and copyright (not to speak of aspects such as the "Patriot" Act)...