Abraham Lincoln, Ballooning, and the Technology of War – Redux

Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln is the only president to ever get a patent, an ingenious, though impractical, method for lifting boats over shoals. This interest in technology served him well during the Civil War as battles increasingly relied on mechanization for transportation, communication, and weaponry.

I’ve hinted at some of these things in previous posts and will be enlarging on this as my new book develops. As I do that, here are some relevant posts you may have missed:

James L. GreenAbraham Lincoln’s Air Force – Balloons in the Civil War: A discussion with James L. Green, a Director of Planetary Science with NASA and a worldwide expert on Thaddeus Lowe and the use of gas-filled balloons during the early part of the war. Green is working on a new book on the topic and was gracious enough to host me for a lunch discussion.

Organized by the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, this exhibition explores how cutting-edge Civil War technological innovations captured Lincoln's fascination and impacted the conduct of the war.Abraham Lincoln and the Technology of War: A recent exhibit held in the Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership displayed telegraphs, weapons, and other artifacts reflecting various forms of technology that helped the North win the war.

Lincoln and the Tools of War by Robert V. Bruce: My review of the definitive treatment on the technology of weaponry in the Civil War.

While you’re at it, check out these two reviews of books comparing Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, two men born on the same day who each left a lasting legacy that changed the world.

Rebel Giants: The Revolutionary Lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, by David R. Contosta.

Lincoln and Darwin: Shared Visions of Race, Science and Religion, by James Lander

Check back soon for more about Abraham Lincoln’s interest in science and technology. BTW, did you know that Nikola Tesla and Abraham Lincoln have a World’s Fair connection? Find out more here.

David J. Kent is a lifelong Lincolnophile and is currently working on a book about Abraham Lincoln’s interest in science and technology. He is also the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and an ebook Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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