Tribute to Ingenuity of Yankee Inventors
In the American history, the attitude of Yankee ingenuity is often characterized as “make do with what you have.” The idea is to be innovative and adapt to material shortages, and it is a hallmark of American innovation. The phrase originated in the early 19th century, when construction began on the Erie Canal in rural upstate New York. On October 26, 1825, the canal was completed and opened to the public. The concept of “MacGyverism” also is a good example of Yankee ingenuity. Similarly, Massachusetts’ Route 128 is known as Yankee Division Highway.
Eli Whitney was born in 1765 and grew up on a farm in Massachusetts. He became an expert at making nails during the Revolutionary War when British embargoes caused a shortage of nails. Later, he specialized in other items, including ladies’ hatpins and canes. This versatility earned him the title of “father of American technology.”
Eli Whitney’s childhood and upbringing were far from the ideal circumstances for a future inventor. Although his father urged him not to go to college, he was determined to make his dreams come true. In addition to teaching in his village school, he also found a way to turn his mechanical skills into profit.
While he did not intend to manufacture firearms, Eli Whitney believed in himself enough to take a risk. He had already built a national reputation with his cotton gin, so his government was willing to contract with him to produce a quarter of the necessary weapons. Whitney agreed to a deal and signed a contract with the War Department on January 14, 1798. The contract stated that he would deliver four thousand muskets within a year and six thousand within two years.
Eli Whitney also popularized the concept of interchangeable parts in the United States. He later sold the Whitney Armory to Winchester Repeating Arms. Whitney was an important New Haven businessman and helped develop the Ronan-Edgehill Neighborhood.
Before going to Yale, Whitney had worked as a school teacher and a farm laborer. He entered Yale College in the fall of 1789 and graduated in 1792. His dream was to study law or teach. But after graduating from Yale, he became a plantation manager. He met Phineas Miller, who later became his business partner.
Eli Whitney died of prostate cancer in 1825. He had a son, Eli Whitney Jr., and several daughters. Eli Whitney died in 1825 at age forty-three in New Haven, Connecticut. Upon his death, his family continued the family business.
Eli Whitney had never built a gun before, but his inventions allowed him to win a government contract to produce 10,000 muskets in two years. Using machine tools, he was able to produce the interchangeable parts he needed. He also lobbied for the standardization of arms production.
Whitney’s work was groundbreaking, and he was one of the first people to use mass production in the United States. This method eventually made mass production possible and allowed more people to have access to basic goods. This innovation paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.
Elias Howe Jr. was born on July 9, 1819, in Spencer, Massachusetts. His parents, Elias and Polly, were millers and farmers. He attended primary school, but left at age six to help his brothers make cards for making cotton.
As a boy, Howe joined older boys in carding cotton, and was later given wire teeth for his hands. The atmosphere was one of ingenuity, and the young boy absorbed it and attributed his future ingenuity to the exposure to machinery.
At age 18, Howe joined a machine shop owned by Daniel Davis. Davis had a knack for repairing intricate mechanical inventions. As a machine mechanic, he worked at the bench and lathe and made little improvements. However, he was often present during inventors’ meetings, and heard them remark about their half-finished machines.
In 1843, Howe began work on a new sewing machine. He had heard a woman complaining about the difficulty of using a sewing machine. He tried to recreate her chain stitch, which involved one thread with a series of loops. Although he had difficulty reproducing it, he managed to incorporate a second thread to secure the stitches and prevent them from unraveling.
Fulton’s experiment, however, was a huge success. He was able to travel a third of a mile under water in seven minutes, and was able to remain under water for four hours and twenty minutes. Fulton then tested the new invention on English warships near Brest. He even made his own bombs.
His vision inspired him to create machines that would change the world. Banks’ aspirations were similar to Howe’s. He dreamed of building bridges across the world and carrying railways across Europe. He made the dream a reality, and the world was a better place.
His brother, Tyler, was also an inventor. He was on a Pacific Ocean boat searching for gold in California when he came up with the idea for the elliptical spring bed. He presented the idea to A. G. Pear in San Francisco, and the elliptical spring bed was patented. The house he built is still near Spencer.
Fulton learned the mechanics of steamboats and engines as a child and studied art in England when he was 21. He had some success as a painter, but his passion for engineering led him to pursue the development of the steam engine. Fulton spent several years designing canals in Europe and also developed a concept for a submarine. However, his most notable contribution was the invention of the steamship, Clermont, which made it possible to navigate the Hudson River.
Fulton’s inventions were based on mechanical and civil engineering. He patented the double-incline plane for hauling canal boats and also built machines for sawing marble and twisting hemp. He also built a mechanical dredge to speed up the construction of canals. Nevertheless, his steamboats eventually sank during tests on the River Seine.
Although Fulton had advanced the idea of a submersible craft, he was unable to get much funding for it. The British government refused his designs for a steam-powered warship, partly because they wanted to maintain their undisputed dominance in the sea. After spending money on the Nautilus and early steamboats, Fulton faced a near-poverty situation.
Despite all this, Fulton remained committed to his career as an inventor. In 1797, he visited Paris to present his submarine idea to the French government. He convinced them that it could aid France in its war with England. The submarine’s ability to maneuver undetected under the hulls of British warships allowed Fulton to attach explosive charges. However, Napoleon did not approve, deeming submarines dishonorable.
Fulton’s steamboats changed the course of global commerce. These vessels made travel by sea much faster and more reliable. The steamboats also allowed American and European factories to ship goods from one country to another.
In addition to designing steamships, Fulton also spent millions developing submarines. He eventually died during a legal dispute over patents. His invention was not immediately embraced by society, and he was ultimately rejected for it.
Fulton was born in Lancaster County, Pa., in 1765. His father, a farmer, worked on farming. The family’s income enabled them to provide for Robert. At age 10, he was already showing talent as an artist. Soon, he was working as a painter for a local gunsmith. By the time he was twenty, he had already spent four years in Philadelphia painting portraits.
Fulton also devoted himself to improving canals. The idea of connecting two rivers was very popular during the eighteenth century. The canals were dug to connect cities, and Fulton devised a system that would move boats. In 1794, he received a British patent for the system. In addition, he developed a plan to use cast iron for aqueducts. The project eventually resulted in the Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation, which he published in 1796.
Fulton also developed ideas for steamboats in shallow water. He also developed plans for more stable bridges. He also succeeded in obtaining patents for several related inventions, including a canal dredging machine.