February 16, 2018 2:06 pm

When you think of presidents from long before your time, you more than likely don’t picture them as the person behind some of the most interesting inventions ever created. Surprisingly, there are a few former leaders and founding fathers who are the reason behind some great inventions. These past presidents were the inspiration or inventors of these three products.

The Swivel Chair

If you’re reading this from your office, you are more than likely sitting in a swivel chair. You can thank founding father and 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson, for this office staple we take for granted in our daily work lives. Although his version had a few different modifications than what we use today, including a leg rest, we still credit President Jefferson for this invention.

Not only was this chair used by Jefferson, it is even said he sat in the swivel chair while drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. Hailed for being one of the most important founding fathers, Jefferson also found time to invent other items including a macaroni machine and an iron plow for farming. There is no denying the intelligence and creativity behind the mind of Jefferson. The United States has him to thank for great inventions and great leadership.

Walking Stick with a Microscopic End

One of the most unusual inventions of the bunch was invented by Thomas Jefferson’s successor, James Madison. Madison was the 4th president who developed a walking stick which included a microscope to be able to get a better look at items formerly trampled upon without a second thought. This gave him the ability to closely exam organisms by simply bending over and looking through his walking stick.

The president was only 5’4”, so an invention such as this only worked for an individual of his height. Although the idea never truly took off, one can still gain a sense of the creativity held by the former president. Some even argue Madison was highly influenced to create after his mentor, Jefferson, had been such a great inventor for his time. Unfortunately, many were too tall for the walking stick, and the idea never caught on. We can still thank Madison for coming up with such a cool idea, and allowing us to reminisce on a fun piece of American history.

The Teddy Bear

President Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, was known for his love of hunting and spending time outdoors. When he refused to shoot a bear on a hunting trip, it quickly became the topic behind a number of political cartoons. This soon led to the creation of the cuddly toy we all know and love, the Teddy Bear, named after the president’s nickname, “Teddy.”

In 1902, Morris Michtom saw the drawings of Roosevelt, and became inspired to create the Teddy Bear. After sending a prototype to the president to receive permission to use his name, the stuffed bears hit the market. They became a giant success, and remain a staple of everyone’s childhood to this day. Although he is the only non-inventor on this list, we can still thank President Roosevelt for the creation of the Teddy Bear.

Throughout history, presidents have accomplished incredible things, but we often forget about the inventions and products developed along the way. It is important to recognize inventors regardless of who they are, but when the inventor is a former president, we can all share in acknowledging the history. Big or small, it is still interesting to look back on the ideas and inventions developed with the help of our United States Presidents.

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