LEWIS LATIMER INVENTOR 1848 - 1928
Lewis Latimer inventor, draftsman, engineer, author, poet, musician, and, at the same time, a devoted family man and philanthropist, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848, invented the water closet for railroad cars - the electric lamp with an inexpensive carbon filament and a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs, which he patented. In 1882 he assigned this patent and others to the U.S. Electric Lighting Company. A year earlier -- 1881 -- he supervised the installation of the electric lights in New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London.
Latimer drafted the patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell's patent application for the telephone, spending long nights with the inventor. Bell rushed his patent application to the patent office mere hours ahead of the competition and won the patent rights to the telephone with the help of Latimer.
Lewis Latimer was the original draftsman for Thomas Edison (who he started working for in 1884) and as such was the star witness in Edison's infringement suits. As an expert witness Latimer defended Edison's patents in court. Edison won his cases based on Latimer's vast knowledge of electrical patents. Lewis Latimer was the only African American member of the twenty-four "Edison Principles", Thomas Edison's engineering division of the Edison Company. Lewis Latimer was instrumental is getting Black workers into the new IBEW electricians union. The older traditional trades were closed to blacks due to family sponsorship.
According to Black History Latimer also authored a book on electricity published in 1890 called, "Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System." Lewis Latimer worked for civil rights organizations, and taught recent immigrants mechanical drawings and the English language in a New York City community center. Upon his death in 1928 the whole world mourned and in honor of his significant contributions to America's industrial revolution, the Lewis H. Latimer Public School, dedicated on May 10, 1968, in Brooklyn New York, bears his noble name. http://inventors.about.com/od/lstartinventors/a/Lewis_Latimer.htm
Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), born Sarah Breedlove, was an African-American businesswoman, hair care entrepreneur and philanthropist. She made her fortune
by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Her parents and
elder siblings were slaves on Madison Parish plantation owned by Robert W. Burney.
At her death at 51 Madam C.J. Walker was considered to be the wealthiest African-American woman in America and known to be the first self-made female American millionaire. Her daughter, A'Lelia Walker, became the president of the C.J Walker Manufacturing.
Like many women of her era, Sarah experienced hair loss. Because most Americans lacked indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity, they bathed and washed their hair infrequently. The result was scalp disease. Sarah experimented with home remedies and products already on the market until she finally developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth.
Soon Sarah, now known as Madam C. J. Walker, was selling her products throughout the United States. While her daughter Lelia ran a mail order business from Denver. In Pittsburgh in 1908 she opened Lelia College to train "hair culturists." In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory.
She began to teach and train other black women in order to help them build their own businesses. She also gave other lectures on political, economic and social issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. After the East St. Louis Race Riot, she joined leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their efforts to support legislation to make lynching a federal crime. In 1918 at the biennial convention of the National Association Of Colored Woman (NACW) she was acknowledged for making the largest contribution to save the Anacostia (Washington, DC) house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. She continued to donate money throughout her career to the NAACP, the YMCA, and to black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, and retirement homes.
In 1917 she moved to her Irvington-on-Hudson, New York estate, Villa Lewaro,which had been designed by Vertner Tandy, the first licensed black architect in New York State and a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The house cost $250,000 to build. Madam C.J. Walker died at Villa Lewaro on Sunday, May 25, 1919 from complications of hypertension.
oSjourner Truth (1797 â€" November 26, 1883)
Sojourner Truth (1797 â€" November 26, 1883) was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was
born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a
case against a white man. Her best-known extemporaneous speech on racial inequalities, Ain't I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. During the Civil War, Truth helped
recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war,
In 1864,Truth was employed by the National Freedman's Relief Association in Washington, D.C., where she worked diligently to improve conditions for African-Americans. In October of that year, she met President Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, while working at the Freedman's Hospital in Washington, Truth rode in the streetcars to help force their desegregation.
In 1870, Truth tried to secure land grants from the federal government to former slaves, a project she pursued for seven years without success. While in Washington, D.C., she had a meeting with President Ulysses S. Grant in the White House.
In 1872, she returned to Battle Creek and tried to vote in the presidential election, but was turned away at the polling place.Truth spoke about abolition, women's rights, prison reform, and preached to the Michigan Legislature against capital punishment.
Not everyone welcomed her preaching and lectures, but she had many friends and staunch support among many influential people at the time, including Amy Post, Parker Pillsbury, Frances Gage, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Laura Smith Haviland, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 â€" April 19, 1975)
Black History Month Starts tomorrow. Ever wondered who engineered birth control pills, testosterone, steroids etc. Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 â€" April 19, 1975) was an African
American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine; and was a pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones, steroids, progesterone, and testosterone, from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work would lay the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills. He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the Mexican wild yam. His work helped reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies.
During his lifetime he received more than 130 chemical patents. Julian was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any Wikipedia
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