Mothers of Invention: Sarah Mather and Martha Coston (Also Making Civil War Naval History)

MarthaCostonPicThe subjects of today’s article were not only “mothers of invention” but also made a bit of naval history as well, contributing to the Union’s cause during the Civil War.

Sarah Mather

Unfortunately, for history’s sake, little is known about inventor Sarah Mather.  One source believes her to have been married with at least one daughter.  There don’t appear to be any records of other inventions by Sarah Mather (except an improvement on the first).  However, her submarine telescope was an important naval innovation.

NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and will be included in a special edition of Digging History Magazine. Digging History is now a monthly digital (PDF) magazine.  This article will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Check out the latest issue here: or try a subscription here.


  1. My great grandmother is Sarah Mather married George Mather is this the same woman I know of three children Ernest Dolly and Erskine



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