Thomas Jeffersons Inventions and Accomplishments


Thomas Jefferson might be known to many as one of the early Presidents of the United States or as the founder of the University of Virginia, but he was also an innovator and an inventor. He loved some of the finer things in life, especially when it came to European cooking, and he was always fond of showing people a good time. In order to make all of this become a reality for him, he was required to invent certain items so that he could maintain his lifestyle.

Here is a brief overview of the inventions that Thomas Jefferson created.

The Iron Plow

Jefferson was one of the largest planters in all of Virginia. He considered agriculture to be one of the greatest sciences there was, but he also had a big problem: erosion. The plows of his day were made from wood and could only partially dig into the soil. His fields were prone to erosion because of the hills and weather, so Jefferson needed a plow that could dig up to three inches deeper to facilitate hillside planting. To that extent, he created an iron and mould board plow that could create furrows to the downhill side of a field.

The Macaroni Machine

In Thomas Jefferson’s day in the US, there weren’t things like peach flambe, ice cream, or macaroons readily available. There was access to European wine, but it wasn’t always the cheapest. One of Jefferson’s greatest loves, however, was macaroni. In order for this pasta to be made for his parties, Jefferson created a machine that would extrude the pasta dough through six small holes so that it could have that classic elbow bend.

Jefferson also loved to experiment with different flavors of foods with his favorite dishes. One of his greatest loves? Adding cheese to macaroni and making it into a type of sauce. That’s right – many credit Thomas Jefferson with the invention of macaroni and cheese.

The Dumbwaiter

Although Jefferson didn’t invent the dumbwaiter, which is essentially a small elevator inside of a home that transports goods between floors, he did make improvements to the design. This was so that his dumbwaiter could accommodate the bottles European wine came in so that he could properly store the wine and have it brought up at the perfect moment while entertaining.

The Pedometer

If you’re on the 10k steps diet or you just want to know how far you end up walking during the day, you’re likely using a pedometer. This device counts the amount of steps that you take and Jefferson, one could say, was an early advocate for the 10k steps plan. He firmly believed that walking was a key to good health and after visiting France to see early models being developed over there, created his own first model in the US.

The Wheel Cipher

In the early days of communication, there wasn’t any electronic encryption available. Codes were needed to make sure messages stayed safe, so Jefferson created a set of codes on a wheel cipher that would scramble messages that could be easily deciphered with the right key.

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