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Black Inventors and Inventions
Product                       Inventor                Date
=======                       ========                =====

air conditioning unit         Frederick M. Jones      July 12, 1949 
almanac                       Benjamin Banneker       Approx 1791
auto cut-off switch           Granville T. Woods      January 1, 1839
auto fishing devise           G. Cook                 May 30, 1899
automatic gear shift          Richard Spikes          February 28, 1932
baby buggy                    W.H. Richardson         June 18, 1899
bicycle frame                 L.R. Johnson            October 10, 1899
biscuit cutter                A.P. Ashbourne          November 30, 1875
blood plasma bag              Charles Drew            Approx. 1945
cellular phone                Henry T. Sampson        July 6, 1971
chamber commode               T. Elkins               January 3, 1897
clothes dryer                 G. T. Sampson           June 6, 1862
curtain rod                   S. R. Scratton          November 30, 1889
curtain rod support           William S. Grant        August 4, 1896
door knob                     O. Dorsey               December 10, 1878
door stop                     O. Dorsey               December 10, 1878
dust pan                      Lawrence P. Ray         August 3, 1897
egg beater                    Willie Johnson          February 5, 1884
electric lampbulb             Lewis Latimer           March 21, 1882
elevator                      Alexander Miles         October 11, 1867
eye protector                 P. Johnson              November 2, 1880
fire escape ladder            J. W. Winters           May 7, 1878
fire extinguisher             T. Marshall             October 26, 1872
folding bed                   L. C. Bailey            July 18, 1899
folding chair                 Brody & Surgwar         June 11, 1889
fountain pen                  W. B. Purvis            January 7, 1890
furniture caster              O. A. Fisher            1878
gas mask                      Garrett Morgan          October 13, 1914
golf tee                      T. Grant                December 12, 1899
guitar                        Robert F. Flemming, Jr. March 3, 1886
hair brush                    Lydia O. Newman         November 15, 18--
hand stamp                    Walter B. Purvis        February 27 1883
horse shoe                    J. Ricks                March 30, 1885
ice cream scooper             A. L. Cralle            February 2, 1897
improv. sugar making          Norbet Rillieux         December 10, 1846
insect-destroyer gun          A. C. Richard           February 28, 1899
ironing board                 Sarah Boone             December 30, 1887
key chain                     F. J. Loudin            January 9, 1894
lantern                       Michael C. Harvey       August 19, 1884
lawn mower                    L. A. Burr              May 19, 1889
lawn sprinkler                J. W. Smith             May 4, 1897
lemon squeezer                J. Thomas White         December 8, 1893
lock                          W. A. Martin            July 23, 18--
lubricating cup               Ellijah McCoy           November 15, 1895
lunch pail                    James Robinson          1887
mail box                      Paul L. Downing         October 27, 1891
mop                           Thomas W. Stewart       June 11, 1893
motor                         Frederick M. Jones      June 27, 1939
peanut butter                 George Washington Carver1896
pencil sharpener              J. L. Love              November 23, 1897
phone transmitter             Granville T. Woods      December 2, 1884
record player arm             Joseph Hunger Dickenson January 8, 1819
refrigerator                  J. Standard             June 14, 1891
riding saddles                W. D. Davis             October 6, 1895
rolling pin                   John W. Reed            1864
shampoo headrest              C. O. Bailiff           October 11, 1898
spark plug                    Edmond Berger           February 2, 1839
stethoscope                   Imhotep                 Ancient Egypt
stove                         T. A. Carrington        July 25, 1876
straightening comb            Madam C. J. Walker      Approx 1905
street sweeper                Charles B. Brooks       March 17, 1890
thermostat control            Frederick M. Jones      February 23, 1960
traffic light                 Garrett Morgan          November 20, 1923
tricycle                      M. A. Cherry            May 6, 1886
typewriter                    Burridge & Marshman     April 7, 1885
Invention Inventor Invention Inventor
Biscuit Cutter A.P. Ashbourne Super Soaker Lonnie Johnson
Folding Bed L.C. Bailey Bicycle Frame Issac R. Johnson
Coin Changer James A. Bauer Space Shuttle Retrieval Arm Wm. Harwell
Rotary Engine Andrew J. Beard Printing Press W.A. Lavallette
Car Couple Andrew J. Beard Envelope Seal F.W. Leslie
Letter Box G.E. Becket Laser Fuels Lester Lee
Stainless Steel Pads Alfred Benjamin Pressure Cooker Maurice W. Lee
Torpedo Discharger H. Bradberry Window Cleaner A.L. Lewis
Disposable Syringe Phil Brooks Pencil Sharpener John L. Love
Home Security System Marie Brown Fire Extinguisher Tom J. Marshal
Corn Planter Henry Blair Lock W.A. Martin
Cotton Planter Henry Blair Shoe Lasting Machine Jan Matzeliger
Ironing Board Sarah Boone Lubricators Elijah McCoy
Horse Bridle Bit L.F.Brown Rocket Catapult Hugh MacDonald
Horse shoe Oscar E. Brown Elevator Alexander Miles
Pacemaker Otis Boykin Gas Mask Garrett Morgan
Guide Missile Otis Boykin Traffic Signal Garrett Morgan
Lawn Mower John A. Burr Hair Brush Lyda Newman
Typewriter Burridge & Marshman Heating Furnace Alice H. Paker
Train Alarm R.A. Butler Airship J.F.Pickering
Radiation Detector Geo. Carruthers Folding Chair Purdgy/Sadgwar
Peanut Butter George W. Carver Hand Stamp W.B. Purvis
Paints & Satins George W. Carver Fountain Pen W.B. Purvis
Lotion & Soaps George W. Carver Dust Pan L.P.Ray
Automatic Fishing Reel George Cook Insect Destroyer Gun A.C. Richardson
Ice cream Mold A.L. Cralle Baby Buggy W.H. Richardson
Blood Plasma Dr. Charles Drew Sugar Refinement N. Rillieux
Horse Riding Saddle Wm. D. Davis Clothes Dryer G.T. Sampson
Shoe W.A. Detiz Celluar Phone Henry Sampson
Player Piano Joseph Dickinson Pressing Comb Walter Sammons
Arm for Recording Player Joseph Dickinson Curtain Rod S.R. Scottron
Doorstop O. Dorsey Lawn Sprinkler J.W. Smith
Doorknob O. Dorsey Automatic Gearshift R.B. Spikes
Photo Print Wash Clatonia J. Dorticus Urinalysis Machine Dewey Sanderson
Photo Embossing Machine Clatonia J. Dorticus Hydraulic Shock Absorber Ralph Sanderson
Postal Letter Box P.B. Dowing Refrigerator J. Standard
Toilet T. Elkins Mop T.W. Stewart
Furniture Caster David A. Fisher Stairclimbing Wheelchair Rufus J. Weaver
Guitar Robert Flemming ,Jr Helicopter Paul E. Williams
Golf Tee George F. Grant Fire Escape Ladder J.B. Winters
Motor J. Gregory Telephone Transmitter Granville T. Woods
Lantern Micheal Harney Electric Cutoff Switch Granville T. Woods
Thermo Hair Curlers Soloman Harper Relay Instrument Granville T. Woods
Gas Burner B.F. Jackson Telephone System Granville T. Woods
Kitchen Table H.A. Jackson Galvanic Battery Granville T. Woods
Video Commander Joseph N. Jackson Electric Raillway System Granville T. Woods
Remote Controllers Joseph N. Jackson Roller Coaster Granville T. Woods
Sani-Phone Jerry Johnson Auto Air Brake Granville T. Woods
1
A.P. Abourne
Refining of coconut oil.
July 27, 1980
2
A. B. Blackburn
Spring seat for chairs. Patent# 380,420
April 3, 1888
3
A.C. Richardson
Casket-Lowering Device. Patent# 529,311
November 13, 1894
4
A.C. Richardson
Churn. Patent # 466,470
February 17, 1891
A.E. Long and A.A. Jones-- 
Caps For Bottles And Jars 
1898 
A.L. Lewis 
Window Cleaner 
1892 
A.L. Rickman 
Galoshes 
1898 
8
Anna M. Mangin
Pastry fork
March 1, 1892
Alexander P. Ashbourne 
Biscuit Cutter 
November, 1875 
10 
Alexander Miles 
Elevator  and also safety device for elevators. Patent No. 371,207 
October11, 1887 
11 
Alfred L. Cralle 
Ice Cream Scooper. Patent # 576,395 
February 2,1897 
12 
Alice Parker 
Heating Furnace 
1918 
13 
Andrew Beard 
Automatic Car Coupling Device 
1897 
14 
Augustus Jackson 
Ice cream 
1832 
15
B. F. Cargill
Invalid cot. Patent# 629,658
July 25, 1899
16 
B.F. Jackson 
Gas Burner 
 
17 
Benjamin Banneker 
Clock, Prints for Wash. DC 1st Almanac 
 
18 
Bessie V. Griffin 
Portable Receptacle 
1951 
19 
C.B. Brook 
Street Sweeper 
1896 
20
C.V. Richey
Fire Escape Bracket. Patent # 596,427
December 28, 1897
21
C. W. Allen
Self Leveling table. Patent # 613,436
November 1, 1898
22
D. McCree
Portable Fire Escape. Patent # 440,322
November 11, 1890
23 
Darryl Thomas 
Cattle Roping  Apparatus 
 
24 
Dr. Charles Drew 
Invented Blood Banks And Established Them Around The World 
1940 
25 
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams 
Performed First Open Heart Surgery 
1893 
26 
Edmond Berger 
Spark Plug 
 
27 
Elbert R. Robinson 
Electric Railway  Trolley 
 
28
Ellen Elgin 
Clothes Wringer 
1880s 
29 
Elijah Mccoy 
Automatic Lubrication System (For Railroad And Heavy Machinery) 1892 
 July 2, 1872 
30 
Folarin Sosan 
Package-Park (Solves Package Delivery Dilemma)   www.maita.com
1997 
31
Frederick Jones
Ticket Dispensing Machine. Patent # 2163754
June 27, 1939
32
Frederick Jones
Starter Generator. Patent # 2475842
July 12, 1949
33
Frederick Jones
Two-Cycle gasoline Engine. Patent # 2523273
November 28, 1950
34 
Frederick Jones 
Air Condition. Patent # 2475841 
July 12, 1949 
35 
Frederick Jones 
Portable X-Ray Machine 
 
36
G.W. Murray
Cultivator and Marker. Patent # 517,961
April 10, 1894
37
G.W. Murray
Combined Furrow Opener and Stalk-Knocker. Patent # 517,960
April 10, 1894
38
G.W. Murray
Fertilizer Distributor. Patent# 520,889
June 5, 1894
39
G.W. Murray
Cotton Chopper. Patent # 520,888
June 5, 1894
40
G.W. Murray
Planter.  Patent # 520,887
June 5, 1894
41
G. F. Grant 
Golf Tee. Patent # 638,920 
December 12, 1899 
42 
G.T. Sampson 
Clothes Drier 
1892 
43 
G.W. Kelley 
Steam Table 
1897 
44 
Garret A. Morgan 
Gas Mask (Saved Many Lives During WWI) 
1914 
45
George Alcorn
Fabrication of spectrometer. Patent # 4,618,380
October 21, 1986
46
George Tolivar
Ship's propeller
 
47 
George Washington Carver 
Peanut Butter 
1900 
48 
George Washington Carver 
300 products from peanuts, 118 products from the sweet potato and 75 from the pecan. 
1900-1943 
49 
Garret A. Morgan 
Automatic Traffic Signal 
1923 
50 
Gertrude E. Downing and William Desjardin 
Corner Cleaner Attachment. 
Patent # 3,715,772 
February 13, 1973
51 
Granville Woods 
Telephone (His Telephone Was Far Superior To Alexander Graham Bell's) 
 Dec. 2,1884 
52 
Granville Woods 
Trolley Car 
1888 
53 
Granville Woods 
Multiplex Telegraph System (Allowed Messages To Be Sent And Received From Moving Trains) 
1887 
54 
Granville Woods 
Railway Air Brakes (The First Safe Method Of Stopping Trains) 1903 
 
55 
Granville Woods 
Steam Boiler/Radiator 
1884 
56 
Granville Woods-- 
Third Rail (Subway) 
 
57
H. Grenon
Razor Stropping Device. Patent # 554,867
February 18, 1896
58
H.H. Reynolds
Window Ventilator for Railroad Cars.
Patent No.275,271
April 3, 1883
59 
H.A. Jackson 
Kitchen Table 
 
60 
Henry Blair 
Mechanical Seed Planter 
1830 
61 
Henry Blair 
Mechanical Corn Harvester 
 
62
Henry Single
Patented an Improved Fish Hook. He sold it later for $625.
1854
63 
Henry Sampson 
Cellular Phone 
July 6th, 1971 
64 
I.O. Carter 
Nursery  Chair 
1960 
65 
Issac R. Johnson 
Bicycle Frame 
 
66
J. A. Joyce
Ore Bucket. Patent # 603,143
April 26, 1898
67
J. Hawkins
Patented the Gridiron
March 3, 1845
68 
J. Gregory 
Motor 
 
69 
J.A. Sweeting 
Cigarette Roller 
1897 
70 
J.B. Winters 
Fire Escape Ladder 
 
71
J. H. Hunter
Portable Weighing Scales. Patent # 570,533
November 3, 1896
72 
J.F. Pickering 
Air Ship 
1892 
73
J. H. Robinson
Lifesaving guards for Street Cars. Patent# 623,929
April 25, 1899
74
J. Robinson
Dinner Pail. Patent# 356,852 
February 1, 1887
75
J. W. Reed
Dough Kneader and Roller. Patents# 304,552
September 2, 1884
76
J. Ross
Bailing Press. Patent # 632,539
Sept 05, 1899
77 
J.H. White 
Convertible Sette (A Large Sofa) 
1892 
78 
J.H. White 
Lemon Squeezer 
1896 
79 
J.L. Love 
Pencil Sharpener. Patent # 594,114 
23 November 1897 
80 
J.S. Smith 
Lawn Sprinkler. Patent # 581,785 
May 4, 1897 
81 
James Forten 
Sailing Apparatus 
1850 
82 
James S. Adams 
Airplane Propelling 
 
83 
Jan Matzelinger 
Automatic Shoe Making Machine 
1883 
84 
Joan Clark 
Medicine Tray 
1987 
85 
John A. Johnson 
Wrench 
 
86 
John Burr 
Lawn Mower 
 
87
John Parker
"Parker Pulverizer" Follower-Screw for Tobacco Presses. Patent# 304,552
September 2, 1884
88 
John Standard 
Refrigerator. Patent# 304,552
Jul 14,1894 
89 
Joseph Gammel 
Supercharge System for Internal Combustion Engine 
 
90 
Joseph N. Jackson 
Programmable Remote Control 
 
91 
L.C. Bailey 
Folding Bed 
1899 
92
L. Bell
Locomotive smoke stack. Patent# 115,153
May 23, 1871
93
L. F. Brown
Bridle bit. Patent # 484,994
October 25, 1892
94 
L.S. Burridge And N.R. Marsham 
Typewriter 
1885 
95 
Lewis Howard Latimer 
Light Bulb Filament 
 
96 
Lewis Temple 
Toggle Harpoon (Revolutionized The Whaling Industry) 
1848 
97 
Lloyd A. Hall 
Chemical compound to preserve meat 
 
98 
Lloyd P. Ray 
Dust Pan 
 
99
Lydia Holmes
Wood Toys. Patent # 2,529,692
November 14, 1950
100 
Lydia O. Newman 
Hair brush 
 
101 
M.C. Harney 
Lantern/Lamp 
Aug.19,  1884 
102 
Madam. C. Walker 
Hair Care Products 
 1905 
103
Majorie Joyner
Permanent hair wave machine. Patent  # 1693515
November 27, 1928
104 
Madeline M. Turner 
The Fruit Press 
1916 
105 
Marie V. Brittan Brown 
Security System. Patent # 3,482,037 
 December 2, 1969
106
Manley West
Discovered compound in canibis to cure glaucoma.
1980-1987
107 
Norbett Rillieux 
Sugar Refining System 
1846 
108
O.B. Clare
Rail Tresle. Patent# 390,753
October 9, 1888
109
O. E. Brown 
Horse Shoe 
8/23/1892 
110 
Onesimus 
Small Pox Inoculation (He Brought This Method From Africa Where Advance Medical Practices Were In Use Long Before Europeans Had Any Medical Knowledge) 
1721 
111 
Otis F. Boykin 
Wire Type Precision Resistor. 
Patent # U.S. 2,891,227
 June 16, 1959
112 
Paul E  Williams 
Helicopter 
 
113 
Peter Walker 
Machine for Cleaning Seed Cotton 
 
114 
Phillip Downing 
Letter Drop Mailbox. Patent # 462,096 
October 27, 1891 
115 
Philip Emeagwali
 Emeagwali won the 1989 Gordon Bell prize, the “Nobel Prize of Supercomputing.”  
1989 
116
Philip Emeagwali

CNN Called Emeagwali:
A FATHER OF THE INTERNET
for inventing a theorized Internet-Supercomputer.

Emeagwali theorized that 65,000 computers around the Earth could forecast the weather. His theoretical supercomputer, with 65,000 nodes, is known today as the Internet.

February 9, 2001
117
Philip Emeagwali
Fastest Computer
World's fastest calculation of 3.1 billion calculations per second led to the reinvention of supercomputers 
1989 
118
Philip Emeagwali
Emeagwali's Eighteen Equations

Emeagwali reformulated Newton’s Second Law of Motion as 18 equations and algorithms; then as 24 million algebraic equations; and finally programmed and executed those equations on 65,000 processors at a world-record speed of 3.1 billion calculations per second.  

1989 
119
Philip Emeagwali
Largest Equations
Emeagwali's 65,000 processors, 24 million equations and 3.1 billion calculations were three world records that garnered international headlines and made mathematicians rejoice.
1989
120 
Philip Emeagwali 
The New African magazine readers ranked Emeagwali as history's greatest scientist of African descent.  
September 2004 
121 
Philip Emeagwali 
Supercomputer 
Emeagwali's discovery of a formula that enables supercomputers powered by 65,000 electronic brains called "processors" to perform the world’s fastest calculations inspired the reinvention of supercomputers - from the size and shape of a loveseat to a thousand-fold faster machine that occupies the space of four tennis courts, costs 400 million dollars a piece, powered by 65,000 processors and that can perform a billion billion calculations per second.
1989 
122 
Philip Emeagwali 
In a televised speech, President Bill Clinton called Emeagwali “one of the great minds of the Information Age.”  
August 26, 2000 
123
Philip Emeagwali
A page in the book "History of the Internet" credited Emeagwali for inventing a theorized Internet-Supercomputer.
1999
124
S. H. Love
Improve Vending Machine. Patent # 1936515
November 21, 1933
125 
Sara E. Goode 
Cabinet Bed 
1885 
126 
Rufus Stokes Patent #3,378,241 
Exhaust Purifier 
April 16, 1968 
127 
Sarah Boone 
Ironing Board 
April 26, 1892 
128 
T. Elkins 
Toilet 
1897 
129
T. J. Byrd
Rail car coupling . Patent# 157,370
December 1, 1874
130 
Thomas Carrington 
Range Oven 
1876 
131
Thomas J.Martin
Patented the Fire Extinguisher
March 26, 1872
132 
Thomas W. Stewart 
Mop 
1893 
133
Virgie M. Ammons
Fireplace Damper Actuating Tool. Patent # 3,908,633
September 30, 1975
134 
W. A. Lovette 
The Advance Printing Press 
 
135
W. F. Burr
Railway Switching device . Patent # 636,197
Oct.31,1899
136
W. H. Ballow
Combined hatrack and table. Patent # 601,422
March 29, 1898
137
W.S. Campbell
Self-setting animal trap. Patent# 246,369
August 30, 1881
138 
W. Johnson 
Egg Beater 
1884 
139 
W.B. Purvis 
The Fountain Pen Patent# 419,065
Jan 7,1890  
140 
W.D. Davis 
Riding Saddles 
 October 6, 1895
141 
W.H. Sammons 
Hot Comb 
1920 
142 
W.S. Grant 
Curtain Rod Support 
1896 
143 
William Barry 
Postmarking and Canceling machine 
 
144 
Wm. Harwell 
Attachment for shuttle arm; device used to capture satellites 
 




African-American Inventors
Black Inventors
You can't get a blood transfusion, stop at a traffic signal, turn on a lamp, or even put on a pair of shoes without relying on technologies and devices first patented by African Americans. Here are just a few of the remarkable African American men and women who changed the way we live our lives. You can learn more about these and hundreds of other famous black Americans.
1. Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894)
The son of an engineer and a freed slave, American chemist and inventor Norbert Rillieux revolutionized the sugar industry by inventing a device to remove the water from the juices of sugarcane and sugar beets to produce dry sugar. Rillieux's invention enabled a purer sugar product, cost less money, and was far less dangerous to workers than previous methods.
2. Elijah McCoy (1844-1929)
Responsible for a remarkable 57 patents, American inventor Elijah McCoy is best known for inventing ingenious devices to lubricate heavy machinery automatically. McCoy's devices were so reliable that people often asked if machinery contained "the real McCoy," likely giving rise to this enduring expression.
3. Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928)
Although he received seven patents for his inventions, mechanical draftsman and inventor Lewis Howard Latimer is best remembered for his key contributions to the incandescent light bulb. In 1881 Latimer patented an electric lamp with an inexpensive carbon filament and a threaded wooden socket. He later joined Thomas Alva Edison's team of inventors and wrote the first known book on electric lighting.
4. Jan E. Matzeliger (1852-1889)
American artist and inventor Jan E. Matzeliger is most famous for designing and creating a machine that stretched leather shoe uppers around a foot-shaped model, or last. Before Matzeliger introduced his machine, highly skilled artisans lasted a maximum of 50 pairs of shoes a day. Matzeliger's automatic shoe lasting machine revolutionized the shoemaking industry, producing as many as 700 pairs of shoes in a single day.
5. Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)
Forced to quit school when he was only ten years old, American railroad engineer and inventor Granville T. Woods patented a remarkable 35 electrical and mechanical devices during his prolific career. Woods received his first patent in 1884 for a steam boiler furnace. His many later patents included a system that enabled telegraph lines to carry voice signals; an induction telegraph for sending messages to and from moving trains; and electromechanical and electromagnetic railway brakes.
6. George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
Born on a Missouri farm to slave parents, George Washington Carver developed several hundred industrial uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, and developed a new type of cotton known as Carver's hybrid. Carver is credited with introducing crop rotation to farmers in the southern United States, thereby revolutionizing the American farming industry.
7. Sarah Walker (1867-1919)
Inventor and entrepreneur Sarah Walker created a line of hair-care products especially for black women. Walker, the daughter of Louisiana sharecroppers and nicknamed "Madame C.J.," was the first woman to sell products via mail order and to organize a nationwide membership of door-to-door agents. Madame C.J. is best remembered as one of the first American women of any race to become a millionaire through her own efforts.
8. Garrett A. Morgan (1877-1963)
The son of former slaves, businessman and inventor Garrett A. Morgan patented the first traffic signal in 1923. Morgan made national news when he used another of his inventions--the gas mask--to rescue several men trapped in a tunnel beneath Lake Erie. Morgan's mask was soon adopted by firemen around the world, and was also refined for use by the United States Army during World War I.
9. Frederick McKinley Jones (1893-1961)
American businessman, inventor, and World War I veteran Frederick McKinley Jones is most remembered for introducing the first practical refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars, a system that completely changed the food transport industry. Jones was responsible for a phenomenal 60 patents during his lifetime, 40 for refrigeration equipment alone.

10. Charles Richard Drew, M.D. (1904-1950)
American surgeon Charles Richard Drew conducted pioneering work in blood storage and transfusion techniques. Drew showed that blood plasma lasts longer than whole blood, a medical breakthrough that enabled the creation of the modern blood bank. In 1939, Dr. Drew used his new understanding of blood storage and transfusion to help establish the first blood banks to serve the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He went on to become the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank.





Philip Emeagwali A Father of the Internet

Theorized Internet-Supercomputer
invented by Philip Emeagwali and
described in the book
"History of the Internet."

CNN Called Emeagwali:
A FATHER OF THE INTERNET
for inventing this
theorized Internet-Supercomputer.





A World Without Black People


This is a story of a little boy name Theo, who woke up one morning and asked his mother, "Mom, what if there were no Black people in the world?" Well, his mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, "Son, follow me around today and let's just see what it would be like if there were no Black people in the world." Mom said, "Now go get dressed, and we will get started."

Theo ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said, "Theo, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son. I must iron them." However, when she reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.

You see Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board, and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine.

"Oh well," she said, "please go and do something to your hair." Theo ran in his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there. You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Theo decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone. You see Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush.

Well, this was a sight: no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mom's hair, without the hair care inventions of Madam C. Walker, well, you get the picture.

Mom told Theo, "Let's do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store." Theo's job was to sweep the floor. He swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there. You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan.

So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone. You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop. Theo yelled to his Mom, "Mom, I'm not having any luck."

"Well, son," she said, "Let me finish washing these clothes, and we will prepare a list for the grocery store." When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer, but it was not there. You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Theo to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So, Theo ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener.

Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen.

As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press. Theo and his mother decided just to head out to the market.

Well, when Theo opened the door, he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall. You see, John Burr, a black man, invented the lawn mower. They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn't go. You see, Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines. They also noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals. You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries, and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs, and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone. You see John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator. So, they just left the food on the counter.

By this time, Theo noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, and what do you know? Alice Parker, a black female, invented the heating furnace. Even in the summertime, they would have been out of luck because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

It was almost time for Theo's father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus, but there was no bus, because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

He usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator.

He also usually dropped off the office mail at a near by mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox, and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their heads in their hands. When the father arrived, he asked, "Why are you sitting in the dark?" Why? Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Theo quickly learned more about what it would be like if there were no black people in the world, especially if he were ever sick and needed blood. Dr. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the world's first blood bank.

Well, what if a family member had to have heart surgery? This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open-heart surgery.

So, if you ever wonder, like Theo, where would we be without black people? Well, it's pretty plain to see. We would still be in the DARK!




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