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Civil War Tech: Lincoln’s Patent

September 14, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abraham Lincoln was no Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, but he did have an inventive mind. He is the only president to hold a patent, for a device to buoy steamboats over shoals.

Children will be able to learn about Lincoln’s invention and the broader world of 19th century technology at a free event Sept. 14 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

“Civil War Tech: Lincoln’s Patent” is open to students ages 8-12. This two-hour event begins at 10 a.m. in the library building (112 N. Sixth Street, Springfield). Space is limited, so make reservations by visiting www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov and clicking on “special event reservations.”

Students will be divided into groups and given a problem related to 19th century issues like plumbing or medicine. Using teamwork and creativity, each group will invent something to solve the problem. They will then explain their inventions to a panel of “investors” before receiving a “patent.”

The children will learn about Lincoln’s love of technology. They will also leave with a firm understanding of patents, the importance of innovation and the ties between Lincoln’s views on ingenuity and forced labor.


September 14, 2019
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 N. 6th Street
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