PROFESSOR T.S.C. LOWE

Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War by the National Geographic

Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War by the National Geographic

Lincoln understood the importance of inventions and patents like his to the country. Patents, he said, "secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things." Page 8.

Decades later, as President during the Civil War, he would see the military importance of the telegraph and railroads and many other "new and useful things" long before his generals did. Lincoln became the first U.S. President to step fully into the role of Commander in Chief in wartime. Within six months of taking office, he took control of the North's railroads and telegraph lines, introduced aerial surveillance to the Union army, urged the production of advanced weaponry, ordered the building of ironclad ships, and began a naval blockade that strangled the South's economy. Page 8.

On June 18, 1861, a strange shape loomed in the Washington sky. It was a giant lighter-than-air balloon named Enterprise. Aboard was the balloon's 28-year-old maker, the grandly named Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe. A telegraph cable ran from the balloon to the ground and connected to the War Department. While aloft Lowe sent this telegraph to the President:
SIR: THIS POINT OF OBSERVATION COMMANDS AN AREA NEARLY 50 MILES IN DIAMETER. THE CITY, WITH ITS GIRDLE OF ENCAMPMENTS, PRESENTS A SUPERB SCENE. I HAVE PLEASURE IN SENDING YOU THIS FIRST DISPATCH EVER TELEGRAPHED FROM AN AERIAL STATION, AND IN ACKNOWLEDGING INDEBTEDNESS FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF DEMONSTRATING THE AVAILABILITY OF THE SCIENCE OF AERONAUTICS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE COUNTRY. Page 39.

INDEX PAGE

BEFORE THE WAR

CIVIL WAR YEARS

INVENTIONS AND INDUSTRY

NORRISTOWN PENNSYLVANIA YEARS

PASADENA CALIFORNIA YEARS

MOUNT LOWE RAILWAY

AFTER THE RAILWAY

LOWE FAMILY

BOOKS ABOUT LOWE

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

EVENTS AND REUNIONS

ARTIFACTS AND HISTORY

ENCYCLOPEDIA BIOGRAPHY

ACCLAMATIONS AND AWARDS

LINKS TO OTHER THADDEUS LOWE WEBSITES