Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, as a unit of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has suspended public operations until further notice because of ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns. You can read our full statement here. While you’re here, check out Morehead At Home, an online hub of resources for you to enjoy at home!

Hidden No More: Week 6 Round-Up

Henry E. Baker

Baker was an examiner in the U.S. Patent Office. In the early 1900s, he conducted a national search to learn which patents had been granted to African Americans over time. Without his findings, many of these inventors would be unknown. 

Lewis Temple

Temple lived as a free man in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he worked as a blacksmith. In 1848, he devised pivoting barbs that made harpooning much more effective. The Temple toggle harpoon revolutionized the American whaling industry. 

Judy W. Reed

Reed of Washington, D.C., may be the first African American woman to receive a U.S. patent. On September 23, 1884, she was granted patent no. 305,474 for a dough kneader and roller. Reed could not write her name, so she signed with an “X.” 

Sarah E. Goode

Goode owned a furniture store in Chicago. In 1885, she was granted patent no. 322,177 for her invention, a bed that could be folded up and turned into a desk. Goode is one of the first African American woman to receive a U.S. patent. 

Lewis Latimer

Latimer transformed lives when he invented an improved carbon filament that made incandescent light bulbs more affordable. He also created the drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s successful application to patent the telephone.