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Black Inventors [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-5-29 07:25:48 |Display all floors
Honoring Black Inventors of the Past and Present:

Black people are not given enough credit for the things that they invent or discover.
"Black minds have been inventors, engineers and master-builders since antiquity." - B.L. Crudup, P.E.

Here I would like to post some information on their achievements.

Why were they not given enough credit?
None of these inventors were compensated for their contributions to American society. It was illegal for blacks to own the rights to their inventions so a lot of times their slave masters received the rights and monetary compensation for their slaves' inventions.

  1. "Only when lions have historians will hunters cease being heroes."
  2. ~ African Proverb
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Racism DOES NOT PAY!
  1. http://www.users.fast.net/~blc/xlhome9a.htm
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The missing picture ... of all of those, ...who might have been, ...outstanding contributors to [science and] engineering, ...if not for racism:

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-6-4 01:23 AM ]
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Post time 2007-5-29 07:27:09 |Display all floors
Here's a list of African-American inventors who contributed to the history (and advancement) of the US:

1.Dr. Patricia Bath - first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention.

2.Joseph Winters - invented a wagon-mounted fire escape ladder

3.Richard Spikes - automobile directional signals,automatic safety brake,railroad semaphore,improved automatic gear shift,drafting machine for blind people

4.Frederick Jones - automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks,self-starting gas engine,air-conditioning unit for military field hospitals

5.Dr. Charles Drew - The Blood Bank

6.Alexander Miles - electric elevator

7.Alice Parker - gas heating furnace that provided central heating

8.John Thompson - lingo programming used in Macromedia Director and Shockwave.

9.Madame CJ Walker - hair care and cosmetics industry for African American women

10.Garrett Morgan - Gas Mask,Traffic Signal
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Post time 2007-5-29 07:30:44 |Display all floors
A little history lesson for you:

-Who invented the motor (the one similar to that used in cars today)? A Black man named Frederick Jones in 1939,.

-Who invented potato chips? A Black man named George Crum in 1853.

-Who invented the spark plug? A Black man named Edmond Berger in 1839.

-Who invented the refrigerator? A Black man named J. Standard in 1891.

-Who invented the gas mask? A Black man named Garrett Morgan, without which many lives would have been lost in WWI.

-Who invented the lawn mower? A Black man named L.A. Burr in 1889.

-Who invented the guitar? A Black man named Robert Flemming, Jr. in 1886, without which we could not create music to rock out to.

-Who invented the golf tee? A Black man named T. Grant in 1899.

-Who invented the fire extinguisher? A Black man named T. Marshall in 1872.

-Who invented the elevator? A Black man named Alexander Miles in 1888.

-Who was the first doctor to perform open heart surgery? A Black man named Dr. Daniel Hale.

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Post time 2007-5-29 07:38:27 |Display all floors
LIFE WITHOUT BLACK PEOPLE

  A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.

  At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief. At last, they said, No more crime, drugs, violence and welfare. All of the blacks have gone! Then suddenly, reality set in. The "NEW AMERICA" is not America at all-only a barren land.

  1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

  2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.

3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black,! invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic signals.

  4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by anotherblack man, Albert R. Robinson.

5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.

7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.

8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.

9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer Later invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop & Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.

10. Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons! invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board and George T Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.

11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks."
Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.
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Post time 2007-5-29 07:42:44 |Display all floors
How about peanut butter?

George Washington Carver invented peanut butter, a product that dramatically changed the popular demand for peanuts, a crop grown throughout his home state of Alabama.  Of course, in years ahead, China will be growing and selling more peanuts than anyone, even smaller African countries, which grow a lot.  


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Post time 2007-5-29 07:52:20 |Display all floors
Benjamin Banneker
(1731-1806)

Benjamin Banneker was born in 1731 just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, the son of a slave. His grandfather had been a member of a royal family in Africa and was wise in agricultural endeavors. As a young man, he was allowed to enroll in a school run by Quakers and excelled in his studies, particularly in mathematics. Soon, he had progressed beyond the capabilities of his teacher and would often make up his own math problems in order to solve them.

One day his family was introduced to a man named Josef Levi who owned a watch. Young Benjamin was so fascinated by the object that Mr. Levi gave it to him to keep, explaining how it worked. Over the course of the next few days, Benjamin repeatedly took the watch apart and then put it back together. After borrowing a book on geometry and another on Isaac Newton's Principia (laws of motion) he made plans to build a larger version of the watch, mimicking a picture he had seen of a clock. After two years of designing the clock and carving each piece by hand, including the gears, Banneker had successfully created the first clock ever built in the United States. For the next thirty years, the clock kept perfect time.

In 1776, the Third Continental Congress met and submitted the Declaration of Independence from England. Soon thereafter, the Revolutionary War broke out an Banneker set out to grow crops of wheat in order to help feed American troops. His knowledge of soil gained from his grandfather allowed him to raise crops in areas which had previously stood barren for years.

When a family friend died and left him a book on astronomy, a telescope and other scientific inventions, Banneker became fascinated with the stars and the skies. He soon was able to predict events such as solar eclipses and sunrises and sunsets. In 1792, he developed his first almanac, predicting weather and seasonal changes and also included tips on planting crops and medical remedies. Banneker sent a copy of his book to Thomas Jefferson, at that time the Secretary of State and in a twelve page later expressed to Jefferson that Blacks in the United States possessed equal intellectual capacity and mental capabilities as those Whites who were described in the Declaration of Independence. As such, he stated, Blacks should also be afforded the same rights and opportunities afforded to whites. This began a long correspondence between the two men that would extend over several years.

Around the same time, President Washington decided to move the Nation's Capitol from Philadelphia to an area on the border of Maryland and Virginia. Major Pierre L'Enfant from France was commissioned to develop the plans for for the new city and at Jefferson's request, Banneker was included as one of the men appointed to assist him. Banneker consulted frequently with L'Enfant and studied his draft and plans for the Capitol City carefully. L'Enfant was subject to great criticism and hostility because he was a foreigner and abruptly resigned from the project and moved back to France.

As the remaining members of the team gathered, they began debating as to how they should start from scratch. Banneker surprised them when he asserted that he could reproduce the plans from memory and in two days did exactly as he had promised. The plans he drew were the basis for the layout of streets, buildings and monuments that exist to this day in Washington D.C.

Benjamin Banneker died quietly on October 25, 1806, lying in a field looking at the stars through his telescope. Nations around the world mourned his passing, viewing him as a genius and the United States' first great Black Inventor.

  1. http://www.blackinventor.com/pages/benjaminbanneker.html
  2. http://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventors/a/Banneker.htm
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[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-6-4 08:04 PM ]
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Post time 2007-5-29 07:57:50 |Display all floors
Patricia Bath
(invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people to see.)

When Patricia Era Bath was born on November 4, 1942, she could have succumbed to the pressures and stresses associated with growing up in Harlem, New York. With the uncertainty present because of World War II and the challenges for members of Black communities in the 1940's, one might little expect that a top flight scientist would emerge from their midst. Patricia Bath, however, saw only excitement and opportunity in her future, sentiments instilled by her parents. Her father, Rupert, was well-educated and an eclectic spirit. He was the first Black motorman for the New York City subway system, served as a merchant seaman, traveling abroad and wrote a newspaper column. Her mother Gladys, was the descendant of African slaves and Cherokee Native Americans. She worked as a housewife and domestic, saving money for her children's education. Rupert was able to tell his daughter stories about his travels around the world, deepening her curiosity about people in other countries and their struggles. Her mother encouraged her to read constantly and broadened Patricia's interest in science by buying her a chemistry set. With the direction and encouragement offered by her parents, Patricia quickly proved worthy of their efforts.

Bath was enrolled in Charles Evans Hughes High School in New York where she served as the editor of the school's science paper. In 1959, she was selected from a vast number of students across the country for a summer program at Yeshiva University (New York City) sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Only 16 years old she worked in the field of cancer research under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Bernard and Rabbi Moses D. Tendler. During the program she developed a number of theories about cancer growth and at the end of the summer she offered a mathematical equation that could be used to predict the rate of the growth of a cancer. So impressed with her was Dr. Bernard that he incorporated parts of her research into a joint scientific paper that he presented at a conference in Washington, DC. Due to the resulting publicity about her work, Mademoiselle magazine presented Patricia with its 1960 Merit Award. The award was presented annually to ten young women demonstrating the promise of great achievement. In only 2 1/2 years of study she was able to graduate from high school and set out for college.

In 1964, Bath graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College in New York. Soon thereafter, she enrolled in medical school at Howard University in Washington, DC. Her exposure to Black professors and administrators had a great impact on her belief in Black leadership in society. While in medical school, she took part in a summer program in Yugoslavia, focused on pediatrics research. The program, sponsored by a government fellowship, allowed her to travel abroad for the first time and to gain experience internationally. She graduated with honors from Howard in 1968.

Patricia returned to New York in the fall of 1968 to work as an intern at Harlem Hospital and accepted a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University a year later. In working in the two distinct atmospheres, she was able to make a clear and alarming observation. In the Eye Clinic in Harlem she noticed that many of the patients suffered blindness while few at the Columbia Eye Clinic did. After further research she concluded in a well-received report that Blacks were twice as likely to suffer from blindness as the general population. Further research would reveal that Blacks were eight times more likely to suffer blindness as a result of glaucoma than whites. Bath believed that the main explanation for this disparity was the lack of access to ophthalmic care for Blacks and other poor people. This would eventually lead to her promoting the concept of Community Ophthalmology, which would work as an outreach programs, sending volunteers out into the community to provide vision, cataracts and glaucoma screening. This would help to provide treatment that could save the vision of elderly people and provide glasses that would help children in school and prevent vision problems in the future. She implored many of the professors at Columbia to donate their time and perform pro bono services for Harlem Hospital's Eye Clinic.

From 1970 to 1973 Patricia moved on to New York University where she became the first Black person to complete a residency in ophthalmology. In addition to her professional success, she enjoyed personal happiness as well, as she got married and had a daughter. In 1974, Bath moved to California and became a faculty member at UCLA and the Charles R. Drew University. Over the next nine years, she would serve in various capacities, and in 1983, co-founded and chaired the Opthalmology Residency Training Program at Drew/UCLA. The fact that she was the first woman in the country to hold such a position would be noteworthy, if not for the fact that Bath was the first to achieve so many distinctions in her life. In 1976, she co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness based on the principle that "eyesight is a basic human right."

After traveling around the world offering her services and bringing awareness to vision issues, Bath settled back into her research at UCLA. She pondered the problems associated with addressing cataracts disease in the United States. Cataracts is characterized by a cloudiness that occurs within the lens of an eye, causing blurred vision and often blindness. Standard treatment called for using traditional surgical methods to remove the damaged lens (one method employed the use of a mechanical drill-like mechanical device that would grind away the cataracts and could only be used for secondary cataract surgery). Bath devised safer, faster and more accurate approach to cataracts surgery.

In 1981 she began work on her most well-known invention which she would call a "Laserphaco Probe." The device employed a laser as well as two tubes, one for irrigation and one for aspiration (suction). The laser would be used to make a small incision in the eye and the laser energy would vaporize the cataracts within a couple of minutes. The damaged lens would then be flushed with liquids and then gently extracted by the suction tube. With the liquids still being washed into the eye, a new lens could be easily inserted. Additionally, this procedure could be used for initial cataract surgery and could eliminate much of the discomfort expected, while increasing the accuracy of the surgery. Unfortunately, though her concept was sound, she was unable to find any lasers within the United States that could be adapted for the procedure (the majority of laser technology in the United States was dedicated to military purposes). She was able to find the laser probe she needed in Berlin, Germany and successfully tested the device which she described as an "apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses" and later dubbed it the "Laserphaco Probe." Bath sought patent protection for her device and received patents in several countries around the world. She intends to use the proceeds of her patent licenses to benefit the AIPB.

Patricia Bath retired from UCLA in 1993 and continues to advocate vision care outreach and calls for attention to vision issues. Her remarkable achievements as a Black woman make her proud, but racial and gender-based obstacles do not consume her. "Yes, I'm interested in equal opportunities, but my battles are in science."

  1. http://www.blackinventor.com/pages/patriciabath.html
  2. http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/bath.html
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[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-6-4 08:05 PM ]
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