This Fourth, Doodle for your Country!

July 3, 2012

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Jefferson's macaroni machine sketch

As you’re celebrating this Fourth of July, enjoying your barbecues and fireworks, remember to pick up a pen and sketch a few idle drawings. We’ve pointed out before on this blog that many of our presidents were prone to sketching and doodling. For the history buffs among you, the editors at Cabinet magazine put together this compendium of presidential doodles for your reading pleasure. Herbet Hoover doodled abstract geometries, and Reagan — who once had dreams of becoming a cartoonist — sketched cowboys, horses and football players. It’s a little unclear what exactly constitutes a doodle — some of the presidents weren’t consciously drawing anything, while others were more deliberate about their designs. The father of our Declaration of Independence himself, Thomas Jefferson, sketched the designs for this pasta-making machine (above) shortly after returning from a trip to Italy in the 1780’s. He served macaroni and cheese in the White House in 1802, though no mention is made whether the macaroni was made on his contraption. If you’re not convinced the leaders of the free world should be drawing during meetings, you need to watch Sunni Brown’s video In Defense of Doodling that busts some common myths about doodling, and shows us just how powerful it can be.
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