Famous Black Inventors
Black Inventors A to Z
A to Z entries for individual black inventors - biography, major inventions, and photos.
African American Patent Holders - Black Inventors
An extensive list of black inventors holding patents listed by name, patent date and invention with history. For more history use the A to Z entries below for individual black inventors.
Colors of Innovation
Thomas Jennings born in 1791 is believed to have been the first African American inventor to receive a patent for an invention
The Origins of Black History Month
What we now call Black History Month originated in 1926, founded by Carter Godwin Woodson as Negro History Week.
Your Opinions Matter - Black History Month
What are contemporary African American scientists and inventors achieving today?
Black Myths or Black Facts
What is the truth about patents.
Black Inventors Facts and History
A daily newsletter with facts, tips, biographies, and more concerning black inventors.
Black Inventors Trivia Quiz
Test your knowledge about black inventors history with this trivia quiz.
George Edward Alcorn
Alcorn invented a new type of x-ray spectrometer.
Invented an improved folding chair.
Ammons invented a fireplace dampener.
His inventive spirit would lead him to be called the "first African American inventor." Banneker published a noted Farmers' Almanac.
Janet Emerson Bashen
Janet Emerson Bashen is an African-American businesswoman and inventor.
The first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention.
Andrew Jackson Beard
Beard received a patent for a railroad car coupler and a rotary engine.
Andrew Jackson Beard - Patents
The original patent drawings of Andrew Jackson Beard.
Miriam E. Benjamin
Benjamin was the second black woman in history to receive a patent. She received a patent for an invention she called 'a Gong and Signal Chair for Hotels.'
Henry Blair was the second black inventor in history to be issued a patent by the United States Patent Office.
Blount invented a device to help disabled persons eat.
An improvement to the ironing board (U.S. Patent #473,653) was invented by African American Sarah Boone on April 26, 1892.
Boykin invented an improved 'Electrical Resistor' used in computers, radios, television sets and a variety of electronic devices.
C. B. Brooks invented a street sweeper truck for which he was issued a patent on March 17, 1896.
Black inventor, Phil Brooks patented a disposable syringe.
Henry Brown patented a "receptacle for storing and preserving papers on November 2, 1886" It was special in that it kept the papers separated. Perhaps an early forerunner in filofax history?
Invented a video home survelance security system.
Norman K Bucknor
African American inventor and GM engineer Norman Bucknor is a prolific patent holder
John Albert Burr
Patented an improved rotary blade lawn mower.
George Washington Carver
Agricultural chemist, George Washington Carver invented three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. More than anyone else in history.
George Washington Carver - Help for the Hard Times - Pamphlet
George Washington Carver wrote the pamphlet Help for the Hard Times
Benjamin S. Carson
Benjamin Carson was a pioneer in surgery technology
Emmett W. Chappelle
Chappelle was a biochemist, photobiologist, astrochemist and black inventor.
John Christian invented and patented new lubricants used in high flying aircraft and NASA space missions.
Donald Cotton invented propellants for nuclear reactors.
Black inventor, David Crosthwait holds 39 patents for heating systems and temperature regulating devices. He is most well known for creating the heating system for New York City's famous Radio City Music Hall.
Dean co-invented improvements in computer architecture that allowed IBM compatible PCs to use the same peripheral devices.
The famous inventor of the Smart Shoe - an athletic shoe whose cushion support automatically adjusts to suit the shape of the wearer's feet.
Joseph Hunter Dickinson
Invented several improvements to different musical instruments.
Clatonia Joaquin Dorticus
Invented an improved photographic print wash method.
Dr. Charles Richard Drew
Drew was the first person to develop the blood bank.
African American inventor Thomas Elkins - view his three U.S. patents.
In 1989, Philip Emeagwali won the Gordon Bell Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for developing the fastest supercomputer software in the world.
African American James Forten invented a sail hoist.
Sarah E. Goode
Sarah Goode was the first African American women to receive a patent (US #322,177), which was issued on July 14, 1885. She invented a type of cabinet bed.
Meredith C. Gourdine
Gourdine was the black inventor of electrogasdynamics systems.
An improved tapered golf tee was patented in 1899 by George F. Grant.
Lloyd Augustus Hall
Lloyd Hall is responsible for the meat curing products, seasonings, emulsions, bakery products, antioxidants, protein hydrolysates and many other products that keep our food fresh and flavorable.
Augustus Jackson, a confectioner and businessman from Philadelphia, invented an ice cream recipe in 1832
Thomas L. Jennings
Thomas L. Jennings was the first African American to receive a patent (US patent3306x), which was issued on March 3rd, 1821.
The world's first African American heavyweight champion patented a wrench (U.S.patent#1,413,121) on April the 18th, 1922.
Johnson invented the Super Soaker® a squirt gun and also invented thermodynamics systems on the side.
Willis Johnson patented an improved mechanical egg beater on February 5, 1884.
Jones invented the first automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks.
Marjorie Stewart Joyner
Joyner invented a permanent wave machine that would allow a hairdo to stay set for days.
Percy Lavon Julian
Julian synthesized the medicines physostigmine for glaucoma and cortisone used for rheumatoid arthritis and he invented fire-extinguishing equipment.
Ernest Everett Just
Dr. Just, an eminent marine biologist, was considered a leader and authority for his work with cell development.
Roscoe Koontz designed a pinhole gamma ray camera and collimator and helped to design and fabricate automatic air and water sampling equipment and radiation activity measuring devices.
Lewis Howard Latimer
Latimer invented the water closet for railroad cars, an electric lamp with an inexpensive carbon filament and a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs.
Lee patented two machines for the food service industry.
John Lee Love
The "Love Sharpener" was designed by African American John Lee Love. Love's invention is the very simple and portable pencil sharpener that many artists use today.
Jan Ernst Matzeliger
Black inventor, Jan Matzeliger invented an automatic method for lasting shoes, which made the mass production of affordable shoes possible.
Black inventor, Elijah McCoy is best known for having invented the automatic oil cup. During his life, McCoy invented and sold 57 different kinds of devices and machine parts, including an ironing board and a lawn sprinkler. His first patent was for a lubricator for steam engines ( US #129,843), which was issued on July 12th, 1872.
Invented an improved elevator.
Morgan invented a gas mask, a traffic signal, and several other inventions.
African American, Lyda Newman patented a new and improved brush.
Alice Parker invented a new and improved gas heating furnace.
Traverse Benjamin Pinn
Traverse Benjamin Pinn invented an improved file holder.
Invented several inventions including an improved fountain pen.
Lloyd P Ray
African American, Lloyd Ray patented a new and useful improvement in dust pans.
Cordell Reed improved nuclear electric power.
Black inventor, Louis Roberts' research interests focused on microwave and optical techniques and components, plasma research, solid state component and circuit development.
Rillieux invented the sugar processing evaporator.
Invented an improved comb.
Invented a gamma-electrical cell.
NASA engineer Jerry Shelby invented an engine protection system for a recoverable rocket booster.
Patented or developed many inventions.
An improved refrigerator design was patented by African American inventor John Standard
Stewart invented an improved mop, metal bender, and railroad crossing indicator.
Rufus Stokes invented a exhaust purifier and an air pollution control device.
The toggle iron harpoon was designed in 1848 by Lewis Temple, an African American blacksmith, this was the standard harpoon in American whaling from the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries.
Received a patent in 1980 for inventing an illusion transmitter.
John Henry Thompson
Invented lingo programming used in Macromedia Director and Shockwave.
African American inventor and GM engineer Patrick Usoro is a prolific patent holder
Madame Walker was a St. Louis washerwoman-turned-entrepreneur. Walker invented a method to soften and smooth African American hair in 1905.
James Edward West
Black inventor, James West holds 47 U.S. and more than 200 foreign patents on microphones and techniques for making polymer foil-electrets.
John Thomas White
African American inventor John Thomas White patented a lemon squeezer in 1896.
Doctor Daniel Hale Williams
Doctor Daniel Hale Williams was a pioneer in open heart surgery.
Patented the fire escape ladder.
African American, Granville Woods invented improvements to electric railways, air brakes, the telephone and the telegraph. He invented a chicken egg incubator and an apparatus for an amusement park ride.
Granville Woods - Patents
Photos of the inventions of Granville Woods.
Invented the "The Hamster Workout Wheel", a small animal exercise wheel that records your pet's mileage or wheel revolutions.
African American Inventors Of Our Times
Several black inventors are discussed in this Invention Dimension article.
African American Women Inventors of the Early 20th Century
Socially significant personal care items invented by African American female inventors are discussed in this Invention Dimension article.
African American History Facts
This is a great place to search for all kinds of facts about African American history including black inventors.
African American in Technology: Past and Present
Five black inventors are profiled in this article: Granville Woods, Lewis Latimer, Elijah McCoy, Garrett Morgan, Frederick Jones, and Jan Ernst Matzeliger.
Great African Americans You Should Know
From the Black Collegian Online, this article highlights several noteworthy African American inventors.
George Carruthers first major contribution to science was to lead the team that invented the far ultraviolet camera spectrograph used for the Apollo 16 mission to the moon.
Inventor Tom Bray's inventions are used in the passenger rail mass transit industry.
Inventor DeWayne McCulley led the research to create DocuTech software for Xerox, however, it is his research into Diabetes and how his job at Xerox encouraged him that is the amazing story.