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 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. 

Matthew Henson

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.

Patricia Bath

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.