Whittier Book of the Week
Book of the Week - Otis shared by Mr. OhEithir
February is Black and African American History Month
America has always been known for creativity and innovation, inventors and developers. There is one group though that has been mostly ignored throughout history; enslaved black inventors.
Many slave owners frequently took credit for their slaves’ inventions and freed slaves often had to partner with whites to have inventions recognized. In the 19th century, patents were rarely given to black inventors, although some were successful. The first black patent holder was Thomas Jennings who invented dry cleaning in 1821. Norbert Rillieux and Elijah McCoy were two other inventors that obtained patents.
Today we recognize many Black Americans for their contributions and inventions that are used widely in our society.
Lonnie Johnson, an aerospace engineer, invented the super-soaker gun and the Johnson thermoelectric energy converter; Dr. Shirley Jackson developed the touch-tone telephone, fiber optic cable and caller ID; Louis Latimer invented the carbon filament for light bulbs; Marie Ban Britton Brown the closed circuit security television; Otis Boykin invented the pace-maker and IBM computer; Charles Drew worked to create the first large scale blood bank; Marion Croak developed the Voice Over Internet Protocol, holds more than 135 patents and has 100 others under review; and Lisa Celobter created Internet GIFs. Now, Bishop Curry V, a 10 year old black inventor has applied for a patent for his device that could prevent accidental deaths of children left in hot cars.
All of these inventors, and many others have made important contributions and improved our quality of life.
Missed Previous Books of the Week? See below...
Whittier Elementary School - Believe, Achieve, Succeed
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