An improved refrigerator design was patented by African American inventor Thomas Elkins of Albany, New York (11/4/1879 U.S. patent #221,222). One unusual fact about Thomas Elkins' refrigerator was that it was also designed to chill human corpses.
An improved chamber commode (toilet) was patented by Thomas Elkins on January 9, 1872. Elkins' commode was a combination bureau, mirror, book-rack, washstand, table, easy chair, and chamber stool. It was a very unusual piece of furniture.
On February 22, 1870, Thomas Elkins invented a combined dining, ironing table, and quilting frame.
History of Refrigerators
History of Plumbing