4 Black Historical Figures from the 1800s (1/28)
Here’s a few game changers from the 1800’s.
1. Thomas Jennings (1791 - 1856)
- Was the first Black man to receive a patent in the US in 1821 for a process called 'dry scouring'.
- This paved the way for modern dry cleaning.
- His image is also attributed to Jamaica's national hero, Paul Bogle. We're biased and believe that the picture is more likely Paul than Thomas :)
- There is not a clear answer as to who the image belongs to, though there is a lot of evidence for both sides.
2. Norbert Rillieu (1806-1894)
- Between 1834 and 1843, he revolutionized the sugar refining industry by inventing the multiple-effect evaporation system with a vacuum.
- It improved processing efficiency and worker safety.
- Rillieux's evaporator has been ranked among the greatest inventions in the history of American Chemical Engineering.
3. Elijah McCoy (1844-1929)
- His most noted invention is the "oil drip cup", which made automatic lubrication possible and allowed steam engines to run more efficiently.
- Developed nearly 60 patents in his life, the most of any African American at that time.
- Another notable invention is the lawn sprinkler.
4. Granville Woods (1856-1910)
- He was self taught and often referred to as the "Black Edison"
- Held more than 60 patents.
- First African American mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War
- One of his most important inventions was the "troller," a grooved metal wheel that allowed street cars to collect electric power from overhead wires.