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Thomas Jefferson A Man of Many Talents. Thomas Jefferson was a man of many accomplishments. Click the pictures of Jefferson to go to a Jefferson web page. Read the information on each page. . What were five of his accomplishments? Of which was he most proud? How do you know?.
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Thomas Jefferson A Man of Many Talents
Thomas Jefferson was a man of many accomplishments. Click the pictures of Jefferson to go to a Jefferson web page. Read the information on each page. • What were five of his accomplishments? • Of which was he most proud? • How do you know?
Thomas Jefferson invented many things. Click on each picture to see a description of the invention. End Slide Show
"I have retired from the hated occupations of politics and returned to the bosom of my family, my farm, and my books."Thos. Jefferson 1809 Click on the picture of Jefferson to learn more about his life and accomplishments.
Moldboard When in Europe as Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson observed that the Dutch moldboard, which is the front of a plow that lifts up and turns over sod, was awkward and ineffective. Setting his mind to the problem, Jefferson interwove art and purpose to invent a new moldboard based on pure mathematical principles, namely, the right angle. This original moldboard briefly transformed agriculture (before iron came to replace the wooden plows), and yet Jefferson never tried to patent it. Believing that invention should be solely for the good of the people and not for the advancement of the inventor, Jefferson encouraged public use of this easily duplicated invention. Back to Invention Page End Slide Show
Wheel Cipher Jefferson developed his wheel cipher between the years 1792 and 1793 while he was serving as the United States' Secretary of State and the country was faced with controversial foreign policy and national security issues. The wheel cipher consisted of twenty-six cylindrical wooden pieces which each had a hole bored into its center so that they could then be threaded onto an iron spindle. On the edge of each wheel, all twenty-six letters of the alphabet was inscribed. By using the cipher, a person could scramble and unscramble letters in order to code messages. Back to Invention Page End Slide Show
The Great Clock One of Jefferson's most visible inventions, the Great Clock, dominates the entrance hall of Monticello. Cannonballs from the Revolution, powered by gravity, hang along both sides of the doorway, and onlookers can read the day of the week and the time from markings on the wall. In another of Jefferson's insights, the Great Clock's face can be seen from both inside and outside to encourage exercise and productivity. The Great Clock was connected to a large copper gong on the roof and was reputed to sound all the way to the University of Virginia. Although he did collaborate on the clock with his mechanical confidant, Louis Leschot, the idea was Jefferson's. For repairs to the Great Clock, Jefferson invented a mahogany ladder that folded up into almost a pole for storage. This ladder, which Jefferson also recommended for pruning trees, was the first of its kind in the United States and, in the late 1800's, became prevalent in U.S. libraries. Back to Invention Page End Slide Show
Jefferson designed an unique revolving stand with five adjustable rectangular shaped rests for holding books. The rests could be folded in to make a small smooth-surfaced box which could then attach to the base. The polygraph, another letter copying device, was invented by an Englishman, John Hawkins, but was perfected by Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson first received the polygraph, constructed of two connected pens, he called it "the finest invention of the present age".(Jefferson to Bowdoin, 1806)In correspondencewith museum director Charles Peale, Jefferson continually suggested improvements that arose through his observant use of the polygraph. Back to Invention Page End Slide Show