Via Modern Mechanix, I learn that Abe Lincoln had a patent (the invention — improvement in method of lifting vessels over shoals — was not thought much of by his legal partner, apparently). Of course, the Wiki page of Lincoln does have a line about this foray of Lincoln, and the patent itself is available here.
The Modern Mechanix article further notes that
Mr. Lincoln also interested himself in balloons and was one of the first persons in this country to receive a telegraphic message from a balloon sent up to make observations on an enemy’s work across the Potomac river.
Don’t miss the four page scan of the article from the 1924 issue of Popular Mechanics at the Modern Mechanix — among other things, it also has a photograph of the model in the National Museum at Washington.