Black Inventors By: Holly Dignan Oakland School, 2005
Sarah Boone • In 1892, Sarah Boone invented the ironing board in New Haven, Connecticut. • Sarah Boone’s ironing board was narrow and curved, and it was also reversible. Making the ironing board reversible made it easy to iron both sides of a sleeve. • Sarah Boone was one of the first African American women to ever receive a patent for an invention.
Lewis Latimer • In 1881, Latimer received a patent for inventing the carbon filament for the electric light bulb. This filament made it cheaper and safer to use the light bulb. • Latimer invented the flushing water closet, now called a toilet, for railway trains. • Latimer also created the threaded socket, which allows the bulb to screw into a fixture.
George Washington Carver • In the early 1900’s, Carver developed a crop rotation method, which revolutionized southern agriculture. • Carver invented 325 uses for the peanut. • From common clays, he created dyes and paints. • Carver looked at ways of using the sweet potato and was able to develop more than 115 products from it including flour and starch (the United States Army used many of his products during World War I.)
Phillip Downing • Phillip Downing invented the letter drop, public mailbox in 1891. • Downing designed the mailbox to protect the mail and to make the mailman's job easier. • This new mailbox prevented others from stealing letters out of them and protected letters from the rainwater blowing in.
Madame C. J. Walker • In 1905, Madame C. J. Walker invented a method to soften and smooth black women's hair using chemical softeners, hot combs, and curlers, -- instead of a hot flat-iron. • Walker developed The Walker Method, which trained her employees to walk door to door selling her products. • Walker was the first self – made women millionaire in America.
J. L. Love • J. L. Love received a patent on November 23, 1897 for the “Love Sharpener.” • Love's invention was the very simple, portable pencil sharpener that many artists use today. • The pencil is put into the opening of the sharpener and rotated by hand. The shavings stay inside the sharpener.
William Purvis • In 1890, William Purvis patented improvements to the fountain pen. • His pen was more durable and less expensive. • You could carry this pen in your pocket. • Purvis, also invented two machines that made paper bags and a paper bag fastener.
Thomas Stewart • Thomas Stewart invented the first mechanically clamping mop on June 11, 1893. • Stewart's mop was special because the head could be replaced by unclamping the old mop head and clamping on a new one. • Thomas Stewart wanted to create an easier way for people to clean their floors so they would keep the floors cleaner and everyone could have better health.
Joseph Winters • Joseph Winters invented a fire escape that was mounted on fire wagons in 1878. • Winters noticed that firemen had to take ladders off of their wagons to climb to windows, rescue people, and spray water on fires. He thought they should have ladders that they could raise that were already mounted to the wagon. • Winters' invention was important because a set of ladders could reach the high windows on a tall building.
Benjamin Banneker • Benjamin Banneker is known as the “ First African American Scientist.” • He built the first wooden clock in America that kept accurate time and struck on the hour for over 50 years. • He created a table that showed the locations of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets at different times of the year. His works are still studied today. • He published the, Benjamin Banneker’s Almanac, from 1792 to 1797. • Banneker was a friend of Thomas Jefferson.
John Burr • On May 9, 1899, John Albert Burr invented the first rotary-blade lawn mower. • His lawn mower did not become clogged with grass clippings as easily. • It was now possible to cut closer to wall edges and buildings.
Garrett A. Morgan • In 1916, Garrett Morgan received a patent for a safety hood and smoke protector (gas mask). • On November 20, 1923, Garrett Morgan was awarded a patent for a three - position traffic signal (stop, go, and all directional stop -for passengers to cross). • Morgan invented a zig – zag attachment for the sewing machine.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which were overcome while trying to succeed.” by: Booker T. Washington