Tag Archives: black inventor

Day 26 George Washington Carver – 28 days of Black History in Technology

George Washington Carver

Would I be doing the world justice if I didn’t mention one of the greatest inventors of all time, African American or other wise.  George Washington Carver born 1864 finished high school through much hardship.  He also attended college he was accepted at Highland College in Highland, Kansas.  He later found out once on campus that he was rejected because he was African American.

In 1896 , Carver was invited to lead the Agriculture Department at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, later known as Tuskegee University.  Carver remained at TU for 47 years teaching.

Carver became famous for his research into and promotion of crops as alternatives to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes.  One of his goals was to educate poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life.

His inventions are too many to name for the peanut, but I have to give you some examples.

George made things like wood stains, shampoo, face power, printer ink, vinegar, soap, coffee, butter, milk, and cheese. These were only a few things that he had that he made from peanuts. He also made different things from other plants. Carver produced paint pigment and talcum powder from southern clay and many other plants. George also found 118 ways to make industrial materials from sweet potatoes, like rubber. He also made five hundred dyes from various southern plants.

His life and legacy will live on forever, his work with the peanut and sweet potatoes is well documented and if you knew all that he created from his work you would understand why he’s so important.  His thurst for knowledge led him to finish High School, and to complete college.

He was, is and will always be a great African American Inventor.  I was able to find some videos from youtube which goings into depth about him and his legacy check them out.

Part 1 of 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAnq17vaUKs
Part 2 of 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_T0ApOsnF8
Part 3 of 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w0xYk1hW6c
Part 4 of 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzYF47cmrAk
Part 5 of 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF7vGEWJGDA


Day 25 Charles Richard Drew – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Dr. Charles R. Drew

Dr. Charles Richard Drew was an American medical doctor and surgeon who started the idea of a blood bank.  Along with that he figured out a system for the long term preservation of blood plasma.

He found that plasma kept longer then whole blood.  Plasma is prepared by spinning a tube of fresh blood containing an anti-coagulant in a centrifuge until the blood cells fall to the bottom of the tube.  The plasma is then poured off.

Blood Centrifugation Scheme

Dr. Drew set up and operated the blood plasma bank at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, NY.  Drew’s project was the model for the Red Cross system of blood banks, of which he because the first director.

Possible fact: Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job.

Dr. Drew was not a techie, but again the significance of his accomplishment can’t go with out mention.


Day 11 Granville T. Woods – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Granville T. Woods was born in Columbus Ohio April 23, 1856. He attended school till he was 10 he served as and apprenticeship in a machine shop and learned the trades of machinist and blacksmith. Woods realized that learning and education were essential for developing critical skills he went to night school and took some private lessons.

Woods invested his spare time in studying electronics, later he took a mechanical engineering course in an eastern college.  While his skills were great he couldn’t get anywhere in the jobs he was getting.

Woods was a great electrician and inventive genius, Woods invented fifteen appliances for electric railways.  In 1880 he had established his own shop in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Woods later succeeded in selling many of his inventions to some of the county’s largest corporations.