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Inventors of New England: More Info


History of Inventors in Northern New England

Often New Englanders became inventors out of necessity, as they faced a difficult climate and long distances to urban services.

For an excellent look at how Yankee ingenuity was used in everyday life, see the books of Eric Sloane. He illustrates and clearly explains the tools and inventions that shaped New England's landscape, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.

For instance, he shows how the wheelbarrow was derived first from a "handbarrow," a stretcher-like ladder that two men carried. This then evolved into a "sledgebarrow" that one man pulled like a sled on runners, to finally become a wheelbarrow that was pulled behind a man (in 1730) to a wheelbarrow with the wheel in front (1750).

His books include Diary of an Early American Boy: Noah Blake 1805; and American Barns and Covered Bridges.

Historic inventors from northern New England can be found at the following web sites:

This site has separate indexes for inventions by state, by women inventors, by African-American inventors, etc.

inventors.about.com

For an elegant and imaginative web site, see the Inventors Hall of Fame, where you can browse the index by inventor, invention, induction date, or decade.

www.invent.org

This site has put together plenty of information and referrals to other sites about Vermont inventors.

www.williston.k12.vt.us

Vermont Living has a site that lists some famous Vermont inventors by town, so you can link to these locations for present day information on historical sites to visit.

www.vtliving.com/inventions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a searchable index of patents (by inventor, place, invention, etc.) from 1975 to the present. Before that date, you'll need to know the patent number to access the patent.

www.uspto.gov

They also have a web site for kids with monthly contests and lots of information to spark your imagination.

www.uspto.gov/go/kids

 
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