As you know February is Black History Month so I decided to pay homage to the African-American men and women who made great contributions to American civilization. First, I would like begin by saying goodbye to a man who brought soul music and the Soul Train Line to television in the 1970’s. Thank you Don Cornelius for honoring us with Soul Train every Saturday for over 30 years. May you Rest In Peace. I believe that Black History is American History and today I would like to salute 10 Black/African-American Inventors for their phenomenal contributions.
1. Willard H. Bennett – inventor of the radio frequency mass spectrometer.
3. Nathaniel Alexander – patented a folding chair on July 7, 1911.
4. Virgie Ammons – invented a device for dampening fireplaces.
5. Janet Emerson Bashen – in January 2006, Ms. Bashen is the first African-American woman to hold a patent for a software invention called LinkLine…a web-based application for EEO claims intake and tracking, claims management, document management and many other reports.
6. Charles Brooks – of Newark, NJ invented improvements to street sweeper trucks patented on March 17, 1896. His truck had revolving brushes attached to the front fender and were interchangeable with scrapers that could be used in winter for snow removal.
7. Marie Brown – the first video home security system was patented on December 2, 1969 to Ms. Brown. The system used television surveillance.
8. Elijah McCoy – “real McCoy” issued more than 57 patents for his inventions. His best known was a cup that fed lubricating oil to machine bearings through a small bore tube.
9. Garrett Morgan – was inspired to invent an improvement to traffic signals, he made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie.
10. Lyda Newman – patented a new and improved hair brush on November 15, 1898. Ms. Newman’s brush was easy to keep clean, very durable and easy to make, and provided ventilation during brushing by having recessed air chambers.
There are certainly many more Black inventors that I have not listed in this article that have patents on new and improved products, services and industry contributions. This month I salute them all and I hope you will as well.
PEACE & LOVE