Tagged with 'invention'

Jefferson-era orrery, reconstructed

James Ferguson, 1710-1776, was a sort of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” of the middle to late 1700s. A fellow of the Royal Society, he had done important work in observing and understanding the moon’s orbit, but his true calling turned out to be explaining science to the general public. Some of his works still make good reading today. He strove for simple, elegant solutions and didn’t waste words. Perhaps he put it best in “Select Mechanical Exercises”:  “The simpler that any machine is, the better it will be allowed to be, by every man of science.”

Polygraph

Artist/Maker: John Isaac Hawkins (1772-1855); Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827)[1] Created: 1806 Footnotes1. This article is based on Stein, Worlds, 368.

At-home Activity

"Ice-creams were produced" Ice cream frequently appears in visitors' accounts of meals with Thomas Jefferson. One visitor commented: "Among other things, ice-creams were produced in the form of balls of the frozen material inclosed in covers of warm pastry, exhibiting a curious contrast, as if the ice had just been taken from the oven."

Moldboard Plow

Jefferson had an abiding interest in improving the technology of farming. One of his more important contributions to agriculture was the "mouldboard of least resistance" for a plow.[1]  

Macaroni

Note: Thomas Jefferson used the word "macaroni" as a general term for pasta.

Design and Decor - Convenience

"A Greater Eye To Convenience " Jefferson filled Monticello with gadgets designed with "a greater eye to convenience," and the dining room contains many examples.