Author: changabula

Black Inventors [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-5-31 08:03:00 |Display all floors
Benjamin Bradley

Benjamin Bradley was born around 1830 as a slave in Maryland. He was able to read and write, although at the time it was illegal for a slave to do so (he likely learned from the Master's children). He was put to work in a printing office and at the age of 16 began working with scrap he found, modeling it into a small ship. Eventually, with an intuitiveness that seemed far beyond him, he improved on his creation until he had built a working steam engine, made from a piece of a gun-barrel, pewter, pieces of round steel and some nearby junk. Those around him were so astounded by his high level of intelligence that he was placed in a new job, this time at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

In his new position he served as a classroom assistant in the science department. He helped to set up and conduct experiments, working with chemical gases. He was very good at his work, impressing the professors with his understanding of the subject matter and also with his preparedness in readying the experiments. In addition to the praise he received, he also received a salary, most of which went to his Master, but some of which (about $5.00 per month) he was able to keep.

Despite enjoying his job with the Naval Academy, Bradley had not forgotten his steam engine creation. He used the money he had been able to save from his job as well as the proceeds of the sale of his original engine (to a Naval Academy student) to build a larger model. Eventually he was able to finish an engine large enough to drive the first steam-powered warship at 16 knots. At the time, because he was a slave, he was unable to secure a patent for his engine. His master did, hoever, allow him to sell the engine and he used that money to purchase his freedom.

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Post time 2007-5-31 08:04:10 |Display all floors
Charles Brooks
(invented improvements to street sweeper trucks)

C. B. Brooks designed the street sweeper and patented it on March 17, 1896. Prior to his invention, streets were cleaned manually by workers picking up trash by hand or sweeping it with brooms. Brooks' invention was made of a truck with a series of broom-like brushes attached which pushed trashed and debris off onto the side of the road.

The streetsweeper initially faced a lot of resentment from workers who felt they could do a better job. Eventually, as cities grew bigger and more and more litter accumulated, the streetsweeper became indispensable.


Charles Brooks also patented an early paper punch, also called a ticket punch. It was a ticket punchthat had a built-in receptacle on one of the jars  to collect the round pieces of waste paper and prevent littering.

  1. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blbrooks.htm
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[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-6-7 08:50 PM ]
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Post time 2007-5-31 08:05:36 |Display all floors
Henry Brown

Henry Brown was an inventor who saw a need for a convenient and secure way to store money, valuables and important papers. At that time, people commonly kept those type of items in wooden or cardboard boxes in their homes or entrusted them to local banks. Both of these options presented   dilemmas. While banks generally provided safety against theft, they did not prevent bank employees from reading through personal papers. At the same time, keeping the items at home could help to keep prying eyes away, but there was little to prevent burglars from quickly and easily grabbing valuables and making off with them.

Brown decided to create a safer container and developed a forged-metal container which could be sealed with a lock and key. He patented his receptacle for storing and preserving papers on November 2, 1886 and it developed into what is now known as a strongbox.

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-6-7 08:57 PM ]
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Post time 2007-5-31 08:08:06 |Display all floors
George Carruthers

Often, greatness is determined by the times in which one finds oneself. For George Carruthers, growing up in the earliest stages of the space race, he like most other boys was fascinated with space travel. Unlike most of those boys, he would ultimately go on to make some of the greatest contribution to ever benefit the space program.

George Carruthers was born on October 1, 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father was a civil engineer while his mother was a homemaker. The family lived in Milford, Ohio and George was an avid science fiction reader and constructed model rockets with help and encouragement from his father. He also had an interest in astronomy and at age 10, built his first telescope with a cardboard tube and a lens he purchased through mail-order. When his father passed away suddenly, the family moved to his mother's hometown of Chicago, Illinois. There George spent a lot of time in the Chicago libraries and museums and in the Adler Planetarium He joined various science clubs and was a member of the Chicago Rocket Society. He read with particular interest about the space exploits of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC and upon graduating from Englewood High School in 1957, he enrolled in the University of Illinois.

Carruthers stayed at the University of Illinois for seven years, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1961, a Master's degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronomical Engineering in 1964 (his thesis focused on atomic nitrogen recombination). In his own words, "[W]hen I was in college, I was undecided whether to pursue aerospace engineering or astronomy as my major, so I decided to take courses in both of them." While doing his graduate work, he also worked as a research and teaching assistant, working with plasma and gases. Upon finishing his Ph.D., he immediately accepted a position with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as a Research Physicist in 1964, having received a fellowship in Rocket Astronomy from the National Science Foundation.

Upon joining the NRL, Carruthers focused his attention on far ultraviolet astronomy, observing the Earth's upper atmosphere and other astronomical phenomena. In 1966, he became a research assistant at the NRL's E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research where he began research on ways to create visual images as a means for understanding the physical elements of deep space. He particularly focused on creating a device to analyze and illuminate ultraviolet radiation. His belief was "[T]he far ultraviolet... is of great importance to the astronomer because it allows the detection and measurements of common elements (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and many others) in their cool, unexcited state... This allows more accurate measurements of the compositions of interstellar gas, planetary atmospheres, etc. The ultraviolet also conveys important information on solid particles in interstellar space... and provides for much more accurate measurements of the energy output of very hot stars...". In 1969, Carruthers received a patent for his invention the "Image Converter for Detecting Electromagnetic Radiation Especially in Short Wave Lengths" which detected electromagnetic radiation in short wave lengths.

George CarruthersFurther extending his his research, he was the principle inventor of the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph which would ultimately be used on the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. Ultraviolet (UV) light is the range of electromagnetic radiation that lies between visible light and X-Rays. UV light, thus allows us to take readings of and understand objects and elements in space that are unrecognizable to the naked eye. The 50 lbs., gold-plated camera system was able to record radiation existing in the upper half of the ultraviolet system of the atmosphere. The camera allowed views of stars and celestial bodies and looks into the solar system thousands of miles away, as well as of the earth. A second version of the camera was sent on the 1974 SkyLab space flight to study comets (it would be used to observe Halley's, West's and Kohoutek's comets). One of the great uses of the camera was to permit a viewer to visually see the effects of pollution on the atmosphere. The camera also was able, for the first time, to detect hydrogen in space, which gave an indication that plants were not the only source of oxygen for the Earth and led to a renewed debate about the origin of stars.

George Carruthers has continued to offer innovation in the areas of astronomy and physics and has been active in outreach programs seeking to bring science to youth around the country. He has been lauded for his efforts and achievements. He was named Black Engineer of the Year in 1987, awarded the Arthur Fleming Award in 1971, the Exceptional Achievement Scientific Award from NASA in 1972, the Warner Prize in 1973 and was inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003. His success is primed to lead to greater achievements by those who follow in his footsteps in the future.

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-5-31 08:09 AM ]
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Post time 2007-5-31 08:12:22 |Display all floors
George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born in 1860 in Diamond Grove, Missouri and despite early difficulties would rise to become one of the most celebrated and respected scientists in United States history. His important discoveries and methods enabled farmers through the south and midwest to become profitable and prosperous.

His master sent him to Neosho, Missouri for an early education and graduated from Minneapolis High School in Kansas. He eventually mailed an application to Highland University in Kansas and was not only accepted but also offered a scholarship. Happily, George traveled to the school to accept the scholarship but upon meeting George, the University president asked "why didn't you tell me you were a Negro?" and promptly withdrew the scholarship and the acceptance.

In 1887 Carver was accepted into Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa where he became well respected for his artistic talent (in later days his art would be included in the spectacular World's Columbian Exposition Art Exhibit.) Carver's interests, however, lay more in science and he transferred from Simpson to Iowa Agricultural College (which is now known as Iowa State University.) He distinguished himself so much that upon graduation he was offered a position on the school's faculty, the first Black accorded the honor. Carver was allowed great freedom in working in agriculture and botany in the University's greenhouses. In 1895, Carver co-authored a series of papers on the prevention and cures for fungus diseases affecting cherry plants.

In 1896 he received his master's degree in agriculture and in 1897 discovered two funguses that would be named after him. At this point, the most pivotal moment of his life arose - he was summoned by Booker T. Washington to teach at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He was appointed director of agriculture and quickly set out to completely correct its wretched state. He was given a 20 acre shabby piece of land and along with his students planted peas on it. Like all legumes, the peas had nitrogen-fixing bacteria on their roots which took nitrogen from the air and converted it into nitrates which then worked to fertilize the soil. The depleted soil quickly became rich and fertile, so much so that he was able to grow 500 pounds of cotton on each acre of land he worked on.

Carver soon instructed nearby farmer on his methods of improving the soil and taught them how to rotate their crops to promote a better quality of soil. Most of the staple crops of the south (tobacco and cotton) stole nutrients from the soil, but these nutrients could be returned to the soil by planting legumes. Thus, in order to improve the soil, Carver instructed the farmers to plant peanuts, which could be harvested easily and fed to livestock. The farmers were ecstatic with the tremendous quality of cotton and tobacco they grew later but quickly grew angry because the amount of peanuts they harvested was too plentiful and began to rot in overflowing warehouses. Within a week, Carver had experimented with and devised dozens of uses for the peanut, including milk and cheese. In later years he would produce more than 300 products that could be developed from the lowly peanut, including ink, facial cream, shampoo and soap.

Suddenly, the same farmers who cursed him now found that a new industry had sprung up that could use their surplus peanuts. Next, Carver looked at ways of utilizing the sweet potato and was able to develop more than 115 products from it including flour, starch and synthetic rubber (the United States Army utilized many of his products during World War I.)

Carver did not stop with these discoveries. From the inexpensive pecan he developed more than 75 products, from discarded corn stalks dozens of uses and from common clays he created dyes and paints. Suddenly Carver's fame grew and grew until he was invited to speak before the United States Congress and was consulted by titans of industry and invention. Henry Ford, head of Ford Motor Company invited Carver to his Dearborn, Michigan plant where the two devised a way to use goldenrod, a plant weed, to create synthetic rubber. Thomas Edison, the great inventor was so enthusiastic about that he asked Carver to move to Orange Grove, New Jersey to work at the Edison Laboratories at an annual salary of $100,000 per year and state of the art facilities. He declined the generous offer, wanting to continue on at Tuskegee.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce of Britain in 1916, the Spingarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1923, and in 1939 was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for "distinguished research in agricultural chemistry." He was appointed to various boards and committees by the United States Department of Agriculture and was named Man of the Year in 1940 by the International Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians. Finally, he received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Simpson College as well as the University of Rochester.



George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943 on the campus of Tuskegee Institute. He was honored by various levels of State and Federal Government as well as by foreign leaders worldwide. The United States government designated the farmland upon which he grew up as a national monument and on January 5, 1946 as George Washington Carver day. He was truly a pioneer in his field and has become one of the few Black inventors recognized by mainstream America.

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-5-31 08:17 AM ]
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Post time 2007-5-31 09:48:11 |Display all floors

America the Beautiful

Yes, my fellow Americans have made good use of the superior US educational system to become great inventors. I'm so proud of my fellow Americans. Thank you changabula for pointing out how great Americans are. Hopefully, there will be even more great black American inventors in years ahead.:)

Thank you for pointing out that black Americans and white Americans have invented more than the Chinese over the past 400 years.

Blacks and whites working together to make the world a better place. It's beautiful.:)

American mullatos (black and white) are some of the best athletes in the world:

Jason Kidd: NBA All-Star

Mike Bibby: NBA All-Star

Tony Parker: NBA All-Star

Deron Williams: NBA All-Star

Dan O'Brien: Gold medal winning decathlete

Rod Woodson: Pro Bowl American football player

Maurice Green: Olympic 100 meter gold medalist

Derek Jeter: All-Star baseball player



Together we are stronger!

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Post time 2007-5-31 14:27:07 |Display all floors
Originally posted by joey141 at 2007-5-31 09:48
Yes, my fellow Americans have made good use of the superior US educational system to become great inventors. I'm so proud of my fellow Americans. Thank you changabula for pointing out how great  ...


Yoy crate, you forgot

MJ,  

Ella Fitzgerald,

Nat King Cole(the 1st person to live in all whites area)

,etc................
What's on your mind now........ooooooooooooooo la la....Kind Regards

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