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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4044. INVENTIONS, Wooden wheels.—[continued].

I see by the Journal that
they are robbing us of another of our inventions
to give it to the English. The writer, indeed,
only admits them to have revived what he
thinks was known to the Greeks, that is, the
making the circumference of a wheel of one
single piece. The farmers in New Jersey were
the first who practiced it commonly. Dr. Franklin,
in one of his trips to London, mentioned
this practice to the man now in London, who
has the patent for making those wheels. The
idea struck him. The Doctor promised to go
to his shop, and assist him in trying to make
the wheel of one piece. The Jersey farmers
do it by cutting a young sapling, and bending
it, while green and juicy, into a circle; and
leaving it so until it becomes perfectly seasoned.
But in London there are no saplings.
The difficulty was, then, to give to old wood the
pliancy of young. The Doctor and the workman
labored together some weeks, and succeeded:
and the man obtained a patent for it,
which has made his fortune. I was in his shop
in London; he told me the story himself, and
acknowledged, not only the origin of the idea,
but how much the assistance of Dr. Franklin
had contributed to perform the operation on
dry wood. He spoke of him with love and
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. ii, 97.
(P. 1787)