What Did Thomas Jefferson Invent?

did-thomas-jefferson-invent Credit: Cristina Cassinelli/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Thomas Jefferson invented an iron hillside plow, an elbow macaroni machine, an improved dumbwaiter, the wheel cipher, a swivel chair, and the first pedometer invented in the United States. He also founded the University of Virginia.

The improved plow Thomas Jefferson invented plowed deeper than existing plows and could plow on a hillside. Along with inventing a machine for making elbow macaroni, Jefferson is also credited with inventing macaroni and cheese. His dumbwaiter improvements included the ability to store wine in a dumbwaiter and bring it up when needed.

Although he did not invent the pedometer, Jefferson saw a pedometer in France and duplicated it in the United States. He also invented a wheel cipher that could be used with a key to decipher encoded messages. His version of the cipher wheel was used until 1802. Although he did not invent crop rotations, Jefferson improved many crop rotation methods and farming implements. He also invented a rotating book stand, a folding ladder and a seven-day clock powered by Revolutionary War cannon balls. Some also credit Jefferson with inventing beds installed in the wall, such as Murphy beds, as well as the lazy Susan. Many of Jefferson's inventions or improvements were labor-saving devices.