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Inventors and Inventions
Building a Better Mousetrap, Part 1



Building a Better Mousetrap, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.03

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dredging, sextant, dredge, sieve, best, seagoing, telegraph, bankrupt, refrigeration, braking, heavily, better, reaper, finding, bifocal, revolver
     content words:    United States, Eli Whitney, Oliver Evans, Benjamin Thompson, Thomas Sullivan, Samuel Colt, Texas Ranger, War Department, Mexican War, Norbert Rillieux


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Building a Better Mousetrap, Part 1
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Why is the United States one of the best countries for inventors to live in? Americans value their freedom and are often willing to have others share in it. This is not just their freedom to live in America, but also the freedom to think and make a better life.
 
2     Invention is limited only by your imagination. From the early days of this country, people have come and found new, better ways to get things done. The following list represents a small number of the many inventions that have been produced.
 
3     In America's early years, trade depended heavily on seagoing ships. Navigators had many challenges in figuring out where they were. In 1731, the sextant was invented in both an American colony and in Britain. It allowed a person to find his latitude by measuring the altitude of the sun, the moon, or stars against the horizon.
 
4     Eyeglasses were fairly common by Ben Franklin's day, yet he found a way to improve them. After he grew tired of switching between his glasses for near vision and the ones to see distance, he put them together. Half of the near vision lens was on the bottom, and the distant lens was the top. It worked. We know it now as the bifocal.

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