25: THOMAS JEFFERSON and JAMES MADISON - Patent
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 3rd President and James Madison (1751-1836) 4th President. 11 ½” x 14 ¼” vellum document signed, Washington, March 18, 1803. The document is a patent issued to John Staples for an improvement in hydro-power obtained by the rising and falling of the tide to give motion to all kinds of machinery. Before the widespread use of steam engines, water was the primary power supply for American industry. Madison has signed the document as Secretary of State, it is also signed by Attorney General Levi Lincoln (1749-1820). Staples was a prolific inventor having been awarded at least eight patents between 1794 and 1824. His inventions, which covered a wide variety of commercial interests, included a still, a pendulum steam engine and a shoemaking technique.