He was only 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He was a member of Congress. He was an ambassador to France and after he retired he established the University of Virginia.  Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, but he had an incredible life.

Thomas Jefferson (Getty Images)

He had the largest farm in Virginia where he introduced all kinds of new plants to the United States. And he was an accomplished inventor.

He was Secretary of State when he invented the wheel cipher – an ingenious way of coding secret messages. It was a rolling tube of 26 letters that would scramble and unscramble messages. It was so efficient it was used in World War I and all the way up to just before World War II.

He invented the revolving desk chair. There was nothing like it before he invented it.

He invented the dumb waiter in his home at Monticello – a mechanical hoist to allow servants to send bottles of wine from the cellar up to the dining room.

He perfected a copy device for letters and documents. It used two connected pens to copy the letters on the page to another page.

When he was in France he acquired such a taste for pasta, when he returned to the United States he’d entertain guests with pasta made in a macaroni machine.

He also tasted ice cream for the first time in France and liked it so much he brought back the recipe and learned to make it himself. Fittingly his favorite flavor was French vanilla.