Chapter 28 Thomas Jefferson: Maker in Chief

There is no “Maker in Chief” in the U.S. Constitution, but at least one president, Thomas Jefferson, certainly deserves that title.

Jefferson is most famous for drafting the Declaration of Independence and serving as the third president of the United States. It’s less well known that he was also an experienced architect, surveyor, locksmith, and amateur scientist. And he was an innovator who made improvements in the design of clocks, instruments, and the polygraph copying machines that duplicated his letters as he wrote them.

Visitors to Monticello, Jefferson’s mountaintop home near Charlottesville, Virginia, can quickly become acquainted with Jefferson’s maker side. Walking toward the front porch, ...

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