Hidden No More: Week 7 Round Up
Thomas L. Jennings
Jennings, a tailor, was the first African American known to receive a U.S. patent. In 1821, he was granted patent no. 3,306x for “dry scouring,” a precursor to today’s dry cleaning. He made a fortune from his innovation.
Jan E. Matzeliger
In 1883, Matzeliger received a patent for an automated lasting machine that could rapidly do the complex task of attaching soles to shoes. His invention transformed the shoe industry, increasing production and making shoes more affordable.
Henson may have been the first person ever to stand on top of the world. In 1909, he reached the North Pole (or close to it) ahead of Robert Peary. Henson and Peary spent years exploring the harsh Arctic environment.
Josephine Silone Yates
In 1881, Yates joined the faculty of Lincoln Institute (now Lincoln University) in Missouri. She was primarily hired to teach chemistry, but she taught other subjects as well. She went on to lead the Department of Natural Science.
Bath was a pioneer in laser cataract surgery. In the 1980s, she invented the laserphaco probe, which uses a laser beam to remove cataracts and restore sight.