Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Did You Know? African American Biographies: Inventors



Percy Julian (1899-1975)

Born to former slaves in Alabama in 1899, pioneering chemist Percy Julian was not allowed to attend high school but went on to earn his Ph.D. His research at academic and corporate institutions led to the chemical synthesis of drugs to treat glaucoma and arthritis, and although his race presented challenges at every turn, he is regarded as one of the most influential chemists in American history. (Source)

Best Known For

African-American chemist Percy Julian was a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills.(Source)

 Elijah McCoy(1844-1929)
Elijah McCoy was born on May 2, 1844, in Colchester, Ontario, Canada, to parents who had fled slavery. McCoy trained as an engineer in Scotland as a teenager. Unable to find an engineering position in the United States, he took a job working for a railroad and subsequently invented a lubrication device to make railroad operation more efficient. McCoy died in Detroit, Michigan, on October 10, 1929. (Source )

Best Known For

Elijah McCoy was a 19th century African-American inventor best known for inventing lubrication devices used to make train travel more efficient. (Source)

Sarah E. Goode (1850-1905) 


Born into slavery in 1850, inventor and entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She received the patent for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885. She died in 1905. (Source)

Best Known For

Entrepreneur and inventor Sarah E. Goode was the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent. (Source)

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