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Leonardo device
Necessity's Children:
A Portfolio of

Moultrie County Inventions

When our ancestors first came to Illlinois, the state was unbroken prairie, an expanse of rich soil which, while extraordinarilry fertile, did not lend itself to tillage by the ploughs famililar to farmers of the eastern states. One of the most crucial innovations of early nineteeth-century agriculture in Illinois was that of John Deere's steel mouldboard plough. Moultrie, and all similar grass-bound counties, owes its cultivation to this invention.

Just as the grassland counties of central Illinois owe their initial development to this innovation, Moultrie's founding residents did not rest content with their lot. They tinkered and fussed to make their daily lives better, and here are their contributions.

Some of these are truly ingenious; others are stillborn mechanical monsters, but all demonstrate a craving for an easier life and a better world.

A note from the web master: I do not know whether any of these innovations achieved commercial success, though some appear worthy of it. If you have any information concerning any of these devices, please let me know.

      Francis M. Green, 1858: Stalk Cutter
      Morgan Wright, 1879: Improvements in Bee Hives
      Moses Porter, 1884: Capstan and Lifting Power
      Martin V. B. Kenney, 1885: Improvements in Hay-Derricks
      William H. and Eddy G. Monroe 1893: Motor
      Michael McCarthy and John H. Wehmoff, 1896: Portable Elevator
      James C. Smith, 1905: Process of Making Explosives
      Leonard C. Weaver, 1906: Clothes-Line Support and Tightener
      Charles O. McKinney and Luther Perry, 1911: Rivet Anvil and Remover
      William A. McMullin and Frank E. Rittenhouse, 1917: Invalid-Bed
      Alexander H. Whigam and Alfred E. Eden, 1919: Steering Wheel Attachment
      Stephen Ralph Underwood, 1922: Motor Vehicle

Copyright 2008 by Gregory K. Hamblin for Moultrie ILGenWeb. Free for non-commercial use (though you must attibute the source).