Black History: Special Delivery!!

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 African American inventor Mary Beatrice Davidson Skinner (1912-2006) came from a family where both her father, grandfather and sister were all inventors. Mary had several inventions including: a sanitary belt, sanitary belt with moisture proof napkin pocket, carrier attachment for adult walkers, bathroom tissue holder, back washer mounted on a shower wall and bathtub. She patented these 5 inventions between 1956-1987. The company that was first interested in her sanitary product invention rejected it when they discovered that she was an African American woman. Skinner was not the original creator of the sanitary napkin.  Women have always found various ways to deal with menstrual periods.  Until more formal/manufactured products were available women often used rags or strips of cloth during their menstrual periods.  Sanitary napkins as a product were originally introduced in 1888 in the United States and earlier forms have been documented as early as the 10th century.  The invention continued to be improved and updated by various manufacturers including Skinner.  In addition to being an inventor, she was a entrepreneur, owning a floral arrangement business.


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