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On February 20, 1900, Black inventor John F. Pickering (1892-1940) of Gonaives, Haiti, was granted a patent for the “Air Ship. ” (Patent 643,975). Pickering was not the original inventor of the blimp but made some significant improvements to the original design. The first blimp was invented by Henry Giffard in 1852. Pickering’s design was the first blimp with directional controls. It was also powered by an electric motor. In modern times blimps were used for research, tourism, surveying, advertising, freight transportation, camera platforms for sporting events, aerial observation, and military defense. Not much is known about his life.

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