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Abraham Lincoln: US President..lawyer..father of social media.

Yeah, that’s right. Dude invented Facebook.

The whole Springfield Gazette was one sheet of paper, and it was all about Lincoln. Only him. Other people only came into the document in conjunction with how he experienced life at that moment. If you look at the Gazette picture above, you can see his portrait in the upper left-hand corner. See how the column of text under him is cut off on the left side? Stupid scanned picture, I know, ugh. But just to the left of his picture, and above that column of text, is a little box. And in that box you see three things: his name, his address, and his profession (attorney).

The first column underneath his picture contains a bunch of short blurbs about what’s going on in his life at the moment – work he recently did, some books the family bought, and the new games his boys made up. In the next three columns he shares a quote he likes, two poems, and a short story about the Pilgrim Fathers. I don’t know where he got them, but they’re obviously copied from somewhere. In the last three columns he tells the story of his day at the circus and tiny little story about his current life on the prairie.

Put all that together on one page and tell me what it looks like to you. Profile picture. Personal information. Status updates. Copied and shared material. A few longer posts. Looks like something we see every day, doesn’t it?

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Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located collection of documents where “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.”

He went on to propose that “each Man may decide if he shall make his page Available to the entire Town, or only to those with whom he has established Family or Friendship.” Evidently there was to be someone overseeing this collection of documents, and he would somehow know which pages anyone could look at, and which ones only certain people could see (it wasn’t quite clear in the application). Lincoln stated that these documents could be updated “at any time deemed Fit or Necessary,” so that anyone in town could know what was going on in their friends’ lives “without being Present in Body.”

That was it. Pretty much just a simple one-page overview of how his system would work. After we read it, we both sat there quiet for a long time. It was so obvious what this was, guys.

A patent request for Facebook, filed by Abraham Lincoln in 1845.

Read the whole thing.

Update: And let’s not forget..Vampire Hunter.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Jim from Iowa

    Love the whole Lincoln – Vampire theme. The kids will love it. Now I’ve heard that the people of Israel have honored our 16th president by naming a street in Jerusalem in his honor. But for native Hebrew speakers who have learned English as a second language, the word “Lincoln” is difficult to pronounce and it usually comes out “Lincolin.” In fact, I’ve heard if you pronounce Lincoln accurately in asking for directions, an Israeli will correct you and tell you it’s pronounced “Lincolin Street.”

    • ziontruth

      True, how true, about Israelis and the pronunciation of Lincoln. :) It’s hard to miss, the way the name is stretched out into three wide syllables: Lin-Ko-Len. If the American pronunciation were transcribed into Hebrew letters, it’d come back in English as “Linken.”

  • Norman B.

    Lincoln’s inventive mind showed itself in the Civil War when he personally examined and approved military advances: the use of railroads for rapid troop deployment, tethered balloons with a telegraph line for real time battlefield reconnaissance, ironclad warships, and Gatling’s machine gun.

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