Black History Month is to honor the contributions made by African Americans for this country. A special thank you to our ancestors who were persistent in their intellectual invention ideas by receiving patents during a time when slaves could not file for patents in their own name.
In efforts to not forget the African Americans contributions to this country, The United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Black History Month Planning Committee focuses on the many inventions made by African Americans, especially during times when slave owners would prosper from their slaves’ ideas.
Since the late 1800s, African Americans have well over two hundred patents that we use on a daily basis. In reference to the Purpose Publishing (ISBN#0-9649870-1-5), listed below are just a few patents (Invention, Inventor, Date, and Patent #) we use on a regular basis.
Air Conditioning Method (refrigerated train box car) Jones, F.M. 12/07/54 #2,696,086
Air Conditioning Unit (refrigerated truck) Jones, F.M.07/12/49 #2,475,841
Air Conditioning Heating Unit (improved) Jones, F.M.10/24/50 #2,526,874
Bathroom tissue holder Kenner, M.B. 10/19/82
Brake, Automatic Air Woods, G.T. 6/10/1902 #701,981
Brake, Fail Safe Spikes, R.B. 01/2/1962 #3,015,522
Brush Newman, L.D. 11/15/1898 #614,335
Chair, Folding Purdy/Sadgwar 11/15/1898 #405,117
Clothes Drier Sampson, G.T. 06/07/1892 #476,416
Curtain rod S Cottron, S.R. 08/30/1892 #481,720
Door Stop Dorsey, O. 12/10/1878 #210,764
Drycleaning Process Jennings, T.L. 03/03/1821
Electric Lamp (improved) Latimer/Nichols 09/13/1881 #247,097
Elevator Miles,A 10/11/1887 #371, 207
Envelope Seal Leslie, F.W. 09/21/1897 #590,325
Eye Protector Johnson, P 11/02/1880 #234,039
Fertilizer Distributor Murray, G.W. 06/05/1894 #520,889
Filing Cabinet (holder) Pinn, T.B. 08/17/1880 #231,355
Fire Escape Ladder, Winter, J.B. 05/07/1878 #203,517
Fire Extinguisher Marshall, T.J. 05/26/1872 #125,063
Gas Burner Jackson, B.F. 04/04/1899 #622,482
Gas Mask (Safety Hood) Morgan, G.A. 10/13/1914 #1,113,675
Golf Tee Grant, G.F. 12/12/1899 #638,920
Guitar Flemming, R.F. Jr. 03/03/1886 #338,727
Ironing Board Boones, S. 04/26/1892 #473,653
Kitchen Table Jackson, H.A. 10/06/1896 #596,135
Table extension Harding, F.H. 11/22/1898 #614,468
Lemon squeezer White, J.T. 12/08/1896 #572,849
Lunchbox (dinner pail) Robinson, J. 02/01/1887 #356,852
Lawn Mower Burr, J.A. 05/09/1899 #624,749
Lawn Mower Grass Receiver Johnson, D 06/10/1890 #429,629
Lock Martin, W.A. 07/23/1889 #407,738
Luggage Carrier Butts, J.W. 10/10/1899 #634,611
Mailbox (letterbox) Downing, P.B. 10/27/1891 #462,093
Mailbox (streetbox) Downing, P.B. 10/27/1891 #462,096
Pencil Sharpener Love, J.L. 11/23/1897 #594,114
Refrigerator Standard, J. 07/14/1891 #455,891
Roller Coaster Woods, G.T. 12/19/1899 #639,692
Scaffold Pickett, H. 06/30/1874 #152,511
Street Sweepers Brroks, C.B. 03/17/1896 #556,711
Ticket dispensing machine Jones, F.M. 06/27/1939 #581,785
Water Sprinkler Smith, J.W. 05/04/1897 #581,785
In 2013, the “First to File” patent law was implemented as part of the America Invents Act. This law allows the patent to be received to the person who submitted the application first. And since there is a push for technology and green innovation. So where do you start when you have an original idea?
Today, the United States Patent Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) offers free information online, free training classes, and workshops on how to maintain a patent and trademark. Therefore, with all this free information, we have no excuse.
Happy Black History Month!