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Black History: Special Delivery!!

Thomas W. Stewart: African American Inventor

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

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Station and Street  Indicator

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Thomas W. Stewart (1823 – ) was born in Kalamazoo, MI.  He is perhaps, best known for making design improvements to the mop.  In 1893, Stewart invented a new mop that had a clamp and springs which allowed the user to press a lever that would wring out the excess water in the mop.  He also designed the mop head to be detachable, making it easier to clean and replace.

Stewart also received a patent in 1883 for a station and street indicator.  Prior to his invention, there were only street signs that were used to provide warnings at train crossings.  Stewart’s invention worked by activating a lever that was built into the train tracks that indicated a train was coming.

Stewart also invented a metal binding machine in 1893.  The machine also had the capability of oscillating; making the process of bending steel safer and more efficient.

Sources:

https://www.reference.com/art-literature/thomas-w-stewart-s-biography-57b7f90167030510

https://www.thoughtco.com/thomas-stewart-the-mop-4077038

http://blackinventor.com/thomas-stewart/

Jimmie Lee Jackson:  His Death Inspired The Selma To Montgomery March “Bloody Sunday”

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Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965)

Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965) was born in Marion, Alabama. In February, 1965, Jackson was a 26 year old Vietnam veteran, a father, and the youngest deacon at his church. He worked as a laborer. Jackson was also an active supporter of voting rights. He had been working with other activists to advocate for voting rights in Selma and Marion, Alabama. When Dr. Martin Luther King arrived in Selma in 1965, Jackson had already attempted to register to vote several times. Dr. King decided to bring the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to Selma because he was concerned about the police brutality being experienced by non-violent black activists. He hoped to get the attention of national media outlets to the violence that was occurring. He hoped this attention would put pressure on President Lyndon Johnson to pass voting rights legislation.

Continue reading “Jimmie Lee Jackson:  His Death Inspired The Selma To Montgomery March “Bloody Sunday””

Joseph N. Jackson:  Inventor of A TV Remote Control

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Dr. Joseph N. Jackson

Joseph N. Jackson (1929 – ) holds 6 U.S. patents for telecommunications and fertility prediction inventions. Jackson’s first patent was for his contribution to a v-chip device that allowed users to block selected content on cable television. This type of technology is commonly used for parental controls. He also holds patents for TV remote control devices. Jackson was not the first person to invent the remote control.  The first TV remote controls introduced in the U.S. were created by Zenith in 1950.  The remote was called, “Lazy Bones”.  However it was not wireless.  It was attached to the TV by a long cord.  Consumers didn’t like it because it was a frequent trip hazard.   Development of a remote control patent goes back much further than 1950.   The first wireless remote control device, the “Flash-Matic” was developed in 1955 by Zenith engineer, Eugene Polley.  Continue reading “Joseph N. Jackson:  Inventor of A TV Remote Control”

Matthew Cherry – Black Inventor

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ma cherry

Inventor Matthew Cherry is known for his patent and invention of the velocipede (forerunner to todays tricycle and bicycle) in 1886 and a street car fender in 1888. Little is known about the life of this inventor.

Horace Pippin:  African American Depression Era Artist

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Horace Pippin – Self Portrait

Horace Pippin (1888 – 1946) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. As a small child, he moved with his family to Goshen, New York. Born just 23 years after emancipation and the civil war, his grandparents were enslaved. His parents were domestic workers. Pippin was a self taught artist whose only formal training was a few art classes that he took as an adult. Early in life, he developed a love for art and creative expression. In fact, Pippin would “illustrate” his spelling words. The family did not have the financial resources to buy art supplies. When he was 10 years old, Pippin won a box of crayons as part of an art contest. Though he was limited in terms of having art materials, his talent was recognized within his community. Due to his mother’s poor health, he left school at age 15 to work and support his family. He worked various jobs including, being employed on a farm, working as a hotel porter, and in a factory.

Continue reading “Horace Pippin:  African American Depression Era Artist”

Dr. Betty Wright Harris:  African American Chemist And Inventor Who Patented Test To Detect Explosives

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Dr. Betty Wright Harris (1940 – )

Dr. Betty Wright Harris (1940 – ) was born in Monroe, Louisiana. She was the 7th of 12 children. Her parents were farmers. Her mother was also a school teacher who encouraged her children to pursue education. Harris started college at the age of 16. In 1961, She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Southern University, a historically black college. In 1963, she earned her master of science degree in chemistry from Atlanta University, also a historically black college. She would then teach chemistry and math at the college level for ten years. During this time she worked at Mississippi Valley State University as well as Southern University.

She briefly worked for IBM before taking a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Harris obtained her Ph.D from New Mexico State University. It was at LANL that she began to specialize in the study of explosives and nuclear weapons. She developed an expertise in the clean up of environmental hazards as well as environmental restoration. She is recognized as a leading expert in these areas. In 1986 she received a patent for a “sensitive spot test” that she created to detect the presence of 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6 trinitrobeneze (TATB). This invention made it possible for the military as well as private industry to identify the presence of explosive materials. The Department of Homeland Security also utilizes the spot test to screen for nitroaromatic explosives.

Continue reading “Dr. Betty Wright Harris:  African American Chemist And Inventor Who Patented Test To Detect Explosives”

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes – 1st African American Female Ph.D. In Mathematics

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Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890 – 1980)

Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was born in Washington, DC.  She received her BA from Smith College and an MA in education from University of Chicago in 1930.  She obtained her Ph.D in Mathematics from Catholic University in 1943.  Her father was Dr. William S. Lofton, a well respected African American dentist.  He also supported many charities and African American businesses financially.  Her mother, Lavinia Day Lofton was very active in the Catholic Church.  Lavinia Lofton held a BA in mathematics and a minor in psychology.

Euphemia married Harold Appo Haynes in 1917.  Harold Haynes was a principal and then deputy superintendent in charge of the “colored” schools in Washington DC.  Dr. Euphemia Haynes taught in the Washington DC’s public schools for forty-seven years.  She was the first female chair of the DC Board of Education and played an integral role in integration of DC schools. She was also a vocal opponent of the “track system” which disproportionately impacted African American students in a negative way.  Under the track system, students were placed in either academic or vocational programs based on their educational achievement early in their education. There was no recourse available to change the “track” if a student’s academic achievement improved or their interests changed. Continue reading “Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes – 1st African American Female Ph.D. In Mathematics”

Charles Haley: 1st Five Time Super Bowl Champion

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Charles Haley is the first five-time super bowl champion. He is one of only two such players to do so. The other player to do so is Tom Brady. Haley won two Super Bowls championships with the 49ers and three with the Cowboys. He was a defensive starter in all five championship games.

Haley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2015.

Sources:

http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2016/11/25/charles-haley-fear-no-evil-book

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ninersnation.com/platform/amp/2017/6/10/15775010/tom-brady-five-super-bowl-rings-charles-haley

We Must Tell Our Children……

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Let’s inspire and encourage our children! They shall be GREAT!
“We must tell our children,
Resilience is your superpower. Brilliance is hardwired in your DNA! Your “CAN-DO” is stronger than any “CAN-NOT” the world may try to impose on you. You are the answer to the prayers of your ancestors. Your hands are gifted. You shall do great things.”

-Enid Gaddis, Black Mail

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