Black History:  Special Delivery!!

MARIAN BENJAMIN PATENT DRAWING
The Gong and Signal Chair – Patent Drawing

Black Mail Fast Fact: Miriam Benjamin created an invention which would improve customer service within the hotel and restaurant industries. Her invention would also help these industries be more efficient with their staffing. Benjamin developed a system for customers to quietly alert staff when they were in need of service. She called her invention, “The Gong and Signal Chair”.  It was first patented in 1888. Using her invention, the customer was able to press a button on the back of their chair which would relay a signal to hotel or restaurant staff. A light on the chair would also illuminate to show staff where the customer was seated. The invention became so popular that a number of them were even installed in the House of Representatives.  Miriam Benjamin was the second black woman to receive a U.S. patent.

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