Washington: Office of Printers to the Senate, 1850. A few diagrams, 6 black and white plates. Hardcover. Octavo. 626 pages. Very good. Bound in marbled paper over boards with black leather spine and fore corners. Gilt stamped spine titles. Moderate rubbing to extremities. Top of upper joint has a 3/4" tear to leather. Moderate foxing throughout. Hinges sound. A solid copy in original binding.
Only one U.S. President ever owned a patent. Abraham Lincoln, returning to Illinois after his one and only term in the U.S. House of Representatives, was impressed by the use of empty barrels and boxes to float a vessel run aground in shallow water. Back in Springfield, he secured the help of a local mechanic to construct a model of a boat equipped with buoyant chambers that could be deployed from under the gunwales to lift the vessel over the underwater obstruction.
This Senate report by Patent Commissioner Thomas Ewbank contains Mr. Lincoln's description of his invention, for which he was issued patent No. 6469. Lincoln and his invention are indexed on two additional pages.
Lincoln's invention was never manufactured or commercially used, possibly because the added weight of it onboard a boat might actually induce the very problem it was meant to solve, but he remained an interested advocate for technological advancements throughout his life.
The present volume also contains fascinating information on many other mid-19th century inventions, such as running telegraphic wire under bodies of water. There is also much information on the state of the Patent Office at the time.