See an extensive list of some of our historical black inventors holding patents, listed by name, patent date and invention with in-depth biographical and technical information on many black inventors and the inventions.
His inventive spirit would lead him to be called the “first African American inventor”, Banneker invented the first Farmers’ Almanac.
Andrew Jackson Beard
On November 27, 1897, Beard received a patent for a device he called the Jenny Coupler.
Miriam E. Benjamin
Ms. Benjamin was the second black woman to receive a patent. She received a patent for an invention she called ‘a Gong and Signal Chair for Hotels.’
Henry Blair was the second black inventor issued a patent by the United States Patent Office.
Blount invented a device to help disabled persons eat.
The ironing board (U.S. Patent #473,653) was invented by African-American Sarah Boone on December 30, 1887.
Boykin invented the ‘Electrical Resistor’ used in computers, radios, television sets and a variety of electronic devices.
C. B. Brooks invented the first street sweeper truck and was issued a patent on March 17, 1896.
Brown patented a ‘receptacle for storing and preserving papers’ on November 2, 1886, which developed into what is now known as the bank safety deposit box
George Washington Carver
Carver invented peanut butter, adhesives, bleach, chili sauce, ink, instant coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, talcum powder and more.
Carruthers was the inventor of the far-ultraviolet camera and the spectrograph.
Emmett W. Chappelle
Chappelle was a biochemist, photobiologist, astrochemist and inventor.
John B. Christian
John B. Christian invented and patented new lubricants used in high flying aircraft and NASA space missions.
Crosthwait holds 39 patents for heating systems and temperature regulating devices. He is most well known for creating the heating system for New York City’s famous Radio City Music Hall.
Dean co-invented improvements in computer architecture that allowed IBM compatible PCs to use the same peripheral devices.
Dr. Charles Richard Drew
Drew was the first person to develop the blood bank.
In 1989, Emeagwali won the Gordon Bell Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for developing the fastest supercomputer software in the world.
Sarah E. Goode
Sarah Goode was the first African-American women to receive a patent (US #322,177), which was issued on 7/14/1885. She invented a type of cabinet bed.
Meredith C. Gourdine
Gourdine was the inventor of electrogasdynamics systems.
Lloyd Augustus Hall
Lloyd Hall is responsible for the meat curing products, seasonings, emulsions, bakery products, antioxidants, protein hydrolysates and many other products that keep our food fresh and flavorable.
Thomas L. Jennings
Thomas L. Jennings was the first African American to receive a patent (US patent3306x), which was issued on March 3rd, 1821.
Johnson invented the Super Soaker® a squirt gun and also invented thermodynamics systems on the side.
Jones invented the first automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks.
Marjorie Stewart Joyner
Joyner invented a permanent wave machine that would allow a hairdo to stay set for days.
Percy Lavon Julian
Julian synthesized the medicines physostigmine for glaucoma and cortisone used for rheumatoid arthritis and he invented fire-extinguishing equipment.
Lewis Howard Latimer
Latimer invented the water closet for railroad cars, an electric lamp with an inexpensive carbon filament and a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs.
John Lee Love
The “Love Sharpener” was designed by John Lee Love. Love’s invention is the very simple and portable pencil sharpener that many artists use today.
Jan Ernst Matzeliger
Matzeliger invented an automatic method for lasting shoes, which made the mass production of affordable shoes possible.
McCoy is best known for having invented the automatic oil cup. During his life, McCoy invented and sold 57 different kinds of devices and machine parts, including an ironing board and a lawn sprinkler. His first patent was for a lubricator for steam engines ( US #129,843), which was issued on July 12th, 1872. In his honor is the “Coined Phrase” “The Real McCoy”
Garrett A. Morgan
Morgan invented the gas mask and the automatic traffic signal.
Rillieux invented the sugar processing evaporator.
Madame Walker was a St. Louis washerwoman turned entrepreneur, who in 1905 invented a method to soften and smooth African-American hair.
Granville T. Woods
Woods invented improvements to electric railways, air brakes, telephones and telegraphs; a chicken egg incubator and an apparatus for an amusement park ride.