Black Ancestors : WeDidIt[1].TheyHidItAfrican American history

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by IssaEl22, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. IssaEl22

    IssaEl22 Banned MEMBER

    Apr 25, 2004
    Likes Received:
    These suspenders, called “trouser supports and stretchers,” included practical and stylish features such as metal clasps.

    Pencil Sharpener John Love 11/23/1897 594,114

    (The) “Real McCoy” Elijah McCoy 4/2/1843 Born
    The term “The Real McCoy” is used to describe anything that is of excellent quality. People began using that term about 130 years ago in honor of one of the most talented and skillful inventors in American history, a man with more than 50 patents beginning in 1872. (Although his year of birth is often listed as 1843, it might be 1844. The exact year is unknown because his records, like the records of most Africans during that period, were often inaccurate because of the indifference of slave-holding and other racist whites.)

    Refrigeration Transport System Frederick Jones 7/12/49 2,303,857
    (Although he patented it in 1949, he actually invented it in 1935.)

    Security System- Home Marie Brown 12/2/69 3,482,037
    This home protection system was the first to include television and video surveillance.

    Statue of Liberty- A Black Female 1875
    French historian Edourd de Laboulaye, who was the chairman of the French Anti-Slavery Society, proposed to the French government that the people of France present to the people of United States, through the American Abolitionist Society, the gift of a Statue of Liberty (with construction beginning in 1875) in recognition of the role of Black soldiers in ending slavery by winning the Civil War in this country. When the statue, sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was presented in 1884 to the U.S. Minister to France, the minister replied that the Black female statue with broken chains at her feet and in her left hand would be offensive to American southerners.

    Thermostat and Temperature Control System Frederick Jones 2/23/60 2,926,005

    Toilet- Modern Bathroom Features Thomas Elkins 1/9/1872 122,518law office of
    215/790-0600 THE BOWSER LAW CENTER 215/790-0601
    telephone 250 South Sixteenth Street facsimile
    Philadelphia, PA 19102-3334
    Evening/Weekend 215/552-8714
    [email protected]


    In order to raise the consciousness of our African brothers and sisters, we must understand and apply the Akan concept of Sankofa, which means that in order to move forward we first have to take a step back. In other words, before we can be prepared for the future, we must comprehend the past. Therefore, here is a partial list of just some of the thousands of inventions, patents, improvements, discoveries, creations, and innovations by and pertaining to Africans in America and in Africa.

    But before we begin, we should understand certain key terms, such as “invention” and “patent.” An invention is a process, design, or product- including a substantive improvement thereof- that is not previously known or not previously existing by the exercise of independent investigation and experiment. A patent is a grant given by the federal government for such a product, with that grant providing the exclusive right to make and sell the product for a term of years. Accordingly, patent holders- as are many of the Africans listed below- can legally be defined as actual “inventors.”

    It must be mentioned that although our ancestors have received credit for various inventions and patent ideas in America, we must realize that in many, if not most, cases, inventions and patent ideas were systematically stolen from us by those who enslaved and otherwise oppressed us from the 17th to mid-20th centuries and thereabouts. In fact, there were laws during a significant part of that period that barred our ancestors from filing lawsuits or testifying in court when they wanted to prove that their inventions and patent ideas had been stolen by whites.

    This partial list was compiled to begin re-igniting a sense of ability and excellence in the minds of Africans as well as to dispel self-hating myths that have caused many of us to believe that white people’s water is wetter than Black people’s water. And now, without further ado, here is our “We Did It. They Hid It” list with dates, patent numbers, and some commentary. Be proud about it and be loud about it; now that you have heard, you must spread the word!

    Air Conditioner Unit Design Frederick Jones 4/28/42 D132,182

    Art Museum Design (Philadelphia) Julian Abele 4/29/1881 Born
    Abele (pronounced “able”) was the Chief Designer at the prestigious Horace Trumbauer and Associates architectural firm from 1938-50. He attended the Institute for Colored Youth, which has since been transformed into Cheyney University, and in 1904 was the first African to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. (Refer below to the section captioned “Library.”)

    Baby Carriage- Safety Leveler William Richardson 6/18/1889 405,599
    This essential invention ended the constant and serious problem of babies falling out of carriages, most of which were inherently defective because they were built without a leveler to keep the carriage safely balanced.

    Bicycle Frame- Folding/Separating Version Isaac Johnson 10/10/1899 634,823

    Blimp (Air Ship)- Modern Version John Pickering 2/20/1900 643,975
    This blimp (i.e., air ship) was the first to be powered by an electric motor and to have directional controls.

    Blood Bank Dr. Charles Drew 1940

    Bridge Safety Gate Humphrey Reynolds 10/7/1890 437,937

    Chair- Folding John Purdy 6/11/1889 405,117
    & Daniel Sadgwar

    Clock (Refer Below To Watch) Benjamin Banneker 2/6/1753

    Clothes Drier- Modern Forerunner George Sampson 6/7/1892 476,416

    Computer- World’s Fastest Philip Emeagwali 1989
    Emeagwali is the world’s leading supercomputer expert. Also, he actually invented an international network system that predated the current internet. CNN called him “A father of the internet,” and President Bill Clinton described him as “one of the great minds of the information age.” He holds several undergraduate and graduate degrees and has an IQ so high that it cannot be measured on conventional tests. He is a prolific inventor, so far having submitted 41 inventions to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One of those inventions makes oil fields so productive that it has saved the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars each year. (Refer below to the section captioned “Weather Forecasting.”)

    Curtain Rod Samuel Scottron 8/30/1892 481,720

    Dry Cleaning Process Thomas Jennings 3/3/1821 3306X
    Jennings is the first African to receive a U.S. patent. After earning money from his patent, he used those funds to buy his enslaved family’s freedom and to support the abolition movement. Also, in 1831, he served as the Assistant Secretary for the First Annual Convention of The People of Color (which, by the way, was held in Philadelphia).

    Elevator- Automatic Electric Shaft Closing Alexander Miles 10/11/1887 371,207
    This invention has saved hundreds of thousands of lives by drastically improving upon pre-existing and quite dangerous ascending/descending contraptions. Those contraptions (i.e., primitive elevators), when stopped on a floor other than that desired by a passenger, required that passenger to manually shut a door to cut off access to the shaft, which often caused that passenger to fall into that deep shaft.

    Fire Escape- Portable Daniel McCree 11/11/1890 440,322

    Fire Extinguisher Improvement Thomas Martin 3/26/1872 125,063

    Firemen’s Mobile Ladder Joseph Winter 5/7/1878 203,517

    Gas Mask Garrett Morgan 10/13/14 1,113,675

    Golf Tee Dr. George Grant 12/12/1899 638,920
    Prior to this invention by Dr. Grant (who, by the way, graduated from and later taught at Harvard Dental School), golfers had to use their hands to make a mound of sand and then place the ball on top of that mound. Despite his innovative genius that greatly benefited golfers worldwide, he was barred- and still would be barred- from many country clubs because of his race.

    Heart (Open Heart) Surgery Dr. Daniel Hale Williams 7/9/1893
    Dr. Williams performed this miraculous feat by removing a knife from the heart of a stabbing victim, after which he sutured the wound and the patient recovered. He also founded the Provident Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL, which is the oldest free standing Black-owned hospital in the country.

    Heating Furnace- Ventilation System Alice Parker 12/19/19 1,325,905
    This invention provided a mechanism for routing heat to various rooms throughout a building.

    Ice Cream- Method and Recipes Augustus Jackson 1832
    Jackson, a Philadelphian and a former White House chef, uniquely used ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of his special mix of ingredients, which proved to be a major breakthrough in the creation of ice cream as we know it today. He also created various ice cream flavors. However, he never applied for a patent.

    Ice Cream Scooper- Spring Loaded Alfred Cralle 2/2/1897 576,395

    Ironing Board- Improvement Sarah Boone 4/26/1892 473,653
    This invention, which was a narrowed, curved, and reversible appliance, made it possible for the first time in history to easily and efficiently press and crease parts of clothing like sleeves and types of clothing like uniquely tailored women’s garments.

    Lawn Mower- Improved, Rotary Blade John Burr 5/9/1899 624,749

    Lawn Sprinkler- Swiveling Joseph Smith 5/4/1897 581,785

    Library Design (Free Library- Phila.) Julian Abele 4/21/1881 Born
    Refer above to the section captioned “Art Museum.”

    Light Bulb- Electric Lamp Improvement Lewis Latimer 9/13/1881 247,097
    Latimer, the son of parents who had escaped slavery, was an inventor, draftsman, engineer, and scientist, as well as an author, poet, musician, and philanthropist. It is a little known fact that he was the person who actually drew the blueprints for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone in 1878. Three years later, in 1881, he and assistant Joseph Nichols were the first persons to receive a patent for the direct forerunner to today’s commonly used light bulb. Prior to this, the electric lamp had no practical use because it could not emit light for an extended period. This new light bulb used a revolutionary method of manufacturing carbon filaments that produced light for extended periods. It was because of this ingenious invention that Latimer was asked by numerous countries, states, and cities- including Philadelphia- to write an instruction manual (which he did in 1890) and to supervise the installation of incandescent light plants. In addition, it is quite interesting that he was the original draftsman for Thomas Edison (inventor of an 1879 temporary light bulb) who relied on Latimer as the expert witness in Edison’s patent infringement suit.

    Lock- Modern Washington Martin 7/23/1889 407,738
    The innovative lock invented by Martin is precisely what made today’s locks possible. It creatively included a cylinder and spiral spring coiled around a metal pin, thereby frustrating thieves and burglars throughout the country.

    Mail Box Phillip Downing 10/27/1891 462,093
    This invention is also known as a letter box and a letter drop.

    Overnight Delivery Computerized Tracking Folarin Sosan 1997
    Sosan, through his Package Park (Maita) company, made it possible for overnight and next day package delivery providers such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the U.S. Postal Service (as well as other major and small businesses) to have all of their deliveries immediately and accurately tracked by computer.

    Pants- Modern Suspenders Archia Ross 11/28/1899 638,068

    This invention, which was called a “chamber commode,” featured all of today’s creature comforts such as a toilet stool, wash stand, mirror, bureau, and book rack.

    Traffic Signal Garrett Morgan 11/20/23 1,475,024
    After he saw a crash between a car and a horse-drawn carriage, Morgan decided that is was absolutely essential for him to invent some type of traffic safety device. As a result, he was the first person to apply for and receive a patent for an inexpensive “hand-cranked semaphore traffic management” mechanism that would control vehicular and pedestrian traffic, thereby protecting humans from injury and even death and protecting cars from damage. This led directly to today’s red, yellow, and green light signals. General Electric bought his patent for $40,000 and in 1963 the U.S. government awarded Morgan a citation for his invention that has saved millions of lives and body parts and has avoided billions in property damage. (He also had this invention patented in Britain and Canada.)

    Trolley- Electric Railway Elbert Robinson 9/19/1893 505,370
    Robinson creatively used electricity in overhead wires to propel passenger-carrying vehicles.

    Typewriter- Improvement Lee Burridge 4/7/1885 315,366
    & Newman Marshman
    Unlike previous bulky and exclusively upper case “letter-writing machines” that were described as a cross between “a small piano and a kitchen table” and that blocked the user from being able to see what he was typing as he was typing, the novel invention by Burridge and Marshman was quite practical. It printed both upper and lower case letters, was a much smaller device, and allowed the user to see what he was typing as he was typing. Also, it required fewer parts and movements to operate and allowed for the use of any paper length.

    Watch- U.S. (Refer Above To Clock) Benjamin Banneker 2/6/1753
    Benjamin’s grandmother (who was an English indentured servant) married an indigenous African whose name was “Banna Ka.” Later, white people began calling him “Bannaky” and thereafter started spelling his name “Banneker.” Benjamin’s invention was not really a clock but instead was an ingenious wooden pocket watch. In addition to his status as an inventor, municipal surveyor, almanac author, mathematician, scientist, mechanical engineer, and astronomer, he also was a vocal anti-abolitionist who on August 19, 1791 petitioned slaveholder Thomas Jefferson to end the “absurd and false ideas” of white supremacy.

    Weather Forecasting- Computerized Philip Emeagwali 1989
    Using the Hyperball Computer that he invented in 1975, this pre-eminent scientist solved the world’s largest mathematical equations that produced meticulously accurate weather forecasting worldwide. (Refer above to the section captioned “Computer.”)

    Wrench- Updated Jack Johnson 4/18/22 1,413,121
    This is the very same Jack Johnson who became the world’s first Black heavyweight champ by winning “The Heavyweight Championship of The World” in 1908 and who had won “The Colored Heavyweight Championship of The World” in 1903. His updated wrench was a tool designed specifically to tighten or loosen fastening devices. This wrench was important not only because of its practical use and because of the person who conceived it, but also because it was invented while he was in Leavenworth Prison on trumped up racist charges involving the 1912 alleged violation of the Mann Act stemming from his out-of-state trips with his white girlfriend. (The Mann Act made it illegal to cross state lines to engage in “immoral activity” with white women.) It should be noted that in addition to his wrench invention, Johnson also received a patent (number 1,438,709) for a car theft protection device on December 12, 1922.

    Wheelchair- Stair Climbing Rufus Weaver 11/19/68 3,411,598


    The First
    The original and correct name of Africa is Alkebulan.

    Africans (Alkebulanians) were the first humans on this planet 200,000 years ago.
    They were in East Africa/Alkebulan in the Nile Valley region. It was not until 170,000
    years later- which was only 30,000 ago- that the first white person came into existence in
    the Caucasus Mountain area.

    Africans (Alkebulanians) created the first language in the West African/Alkebulan
    country now called Ghana. That language is Twi and Khui.

    Air Conditioning Concept 3000 BC
    The Egyptians (who are correctly called the Kemites) poured water in shallow clay trays that were placed on beds of straw. This was done at night so that, during the natural evening temperature drop, evaporation would cause a cooling effect in the rooms where the trays were located.

    Amen 2500 BC
    This word, which Christians now use at the end of their prayers, was originally spelled Amun and it means "the hidden one." It was the last name of the highest Egyptian (Kemetic) deity. In fact, around 1360 BC, the Egyptian (Kemetic) ruler Seti The Great was worshipped as the god Amun. The Hebrews later adopted the word, changed its meaning, and then passed it on to the Christians.

    It must be noted that the word Christ is not derived from Europe. The word actually comes from the pharaonic Egyptian (Kemetic) expression "kher sesheta," which means "he who watches over the mysteries." It was not until after 300 AD that Christians finally started referring to Jesus as Christ.
    Also, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that Jesus did not have the complexion of a white man but instead had the complexion of a dark man. Revelations 2:18 mentions “feet… like fine brass” (which is a brownish color) and Daniel 7:9 mentions “hair… like pure wool” (which is locks or an Afro).

    Geometry Tacokoma 1500 BC (circa)
    Tacokoma, like Tishome who invented calculus and Ahmes who invented
    algebra, was a brilliant Egyptian (Kemetic) mathematician.

    Handshake 2800 BC
    This contact between two persons signified the conferring of power from a god to an earthly ruler. As a matter of fact, in the so-called hieroglyphic (correctly called medu netcher) picture writings, the verb "to give" is drawn as an extended hand. This is where the European named Michelangelo got his idea for the Sistine Chapel drawing.

    Toothbrush 3000 BC
    It was a chew stick, which itself was a pencil-sized twig with one end frayed to a soft, fibrous condition.

    Toothpaste 2000 BC
    It was made from powdered pumice stone and strong wine vinegar that was brushed on a chew stick. This was much different from the early Roman toothpaste that was made from human URINE(!), which the Romans also used as a mouth wash. In fact, Roman physicians around 100 AD claimed that brushing with urine whitened teeth and fixed them more firmly in the sockets. And wealthy Roman women paid dearly for foreign urine, especially Portuguese urine.

    Wedding Ring 2800 BC
    To the Egyptians (Kemites), a circle, which has no beginning and no end, signified eternity, just as marriage signifies an eternal bond.

    To My African Brothers and Sisters:
    Before ending this version of the “We Did It. They Hid It.” list (which is a condensed work in progress), I must give a major “shout out” to Henry E. Baker, one of the first Black Patent Examiners in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a Harvard Law School graduate. He was an Assistant Patent Examiner who dedicated his career to uncovering and publishing the contributions of Black inventors. We know much of what we know about Black inventors in America because of his detailed and relentless work as shown in his four large volumes of patent drawings of inventions by Blacks and because of his book entitled The Black Inventor.
    Apart from that, bibliographical information about any of the material in this “We Did It. They Hid It.” list is available upon request.

  2. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 22, 2004
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    Nice, valuble information This is very inspiring, i have often wondered of the true name of the mother continent!

    keep up the excellent work. my brother

    I did not see reference to the cell phone patent, or did I ovelook it?
  3. MzBlkAngel

    MzBlkAngel Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 26, 2003
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    somewhere ova da rainbow....
  4. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

    United States
    Mar 21, 2001
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    BUSINESS owner
    good work and thankz for sharing this history
  5. daroc

    daroc Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    May 16, 2004
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    to add a story....

    at the suburban school i attended ( high school in ny) i ran the Black Student Union... for our black history month 2 yrs ago we read a story over or mornign show. it was a story about what if their were no blk people. a boy was running threw his normal day and everything that he needed or something related to it, would not be there- b/c a black person invented it. so we read the story and these are some of the comments we got... thats not true....blks didnt make, didnt so and so do that- not him...

    it was as if many of the white kids couldnt believe the achievements blks have made to our culture and history- as a world

    i thought that was very sad & ignorant.... but necessary to share
  6. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Jul 2, 2003
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    (RF) Technician
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    These are great insights. America didn't grow nor come out of the dark ages until we brought them out. Have you noticed the 1800's was a popular time of African American growth?

    In Science:
    Dr. Charles Drew, invented blood plasma

    Makes you wonder what else is a lie?

    Let’s not forget our literary geniuses.

    Did you know the writer of The Three Musketeers was black?

    Alexander Dumas [père] (1802-1870) / Alexandre Dumas (Getty Museum)

    Alexander Dumas [père] (1802-1870) / Alexandre Dumas; Nadar [Gaspard Félix Tournachon] (French, 1820 - 1910); 1855; Salted paper print from a glass negative; 23.5 × 18.7 cm (9 1/4 × 7 3/8 in.); 84.XM.262.4; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles,...

    Alexander Dumas (père)

    " The son of a French revolutionary general and a black mother, Dumas arrived in Paris from the provinces in 1823, poor and barely educated. Working as a clerk, he educated himself in French history and began to write. In 1829 he met with his first success; with credits including The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, published in 1844 and 1845, respectively, his fame and popularity were assured. "
  7. dadachango69

    dadachango69 Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Aug 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Film Screenwriter
    Brooklyn NYC (NuYoRico)
    Great Post. I always wondered about why the Statue of Liberty had broken chains and represented the U.S. When were White Folks ever in chains (maybe when they get into their S&M thing :grin: ) I just figured it was an ironic symbol of Liberty... freeedom for THEM only.... and just left it at that.
  8. IssaEl21

    IssaEl21 Well-Known Member MEMBER

    May 19, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Hotep Ala Antuk / Antuk

    215/790-0600 THE BOWSER LAW CENTER 215/790-0601
    telephone 250 South Sixteenth Street facsimile
    Philadelphia, PA 19102-3334
    Evening/Weekend 215/552-8714
    [email protected]
  9. SAMURAI36


    Mar 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Bay Area
    This is awesome info. Thanx for this.



    United States
    Jun 10, 2004
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    ..............Did any of you read this closely or know about this BEFORE this thread was created? I knew Europe had a dirty history.......... but come on!!!LOL!

    Then women buying human urine? Use HUMAN URINE to clean teeth? That is like using s##t to cover up scabs and bruises! :puke2:

    I almost missed out on Lunch because of this!:puke2: