At Davison, idea people are at the forefront of our success. As we celebrate Black History Month, we commemorate three African American inventors who changed history. Without their inventions, our lives would be drastically different today. Learn about the fascinating lives and inventions of these idea people!
George Washington Carver
Best known for his idea that revolutionized agriculture in the south, George Washington Carver ultimately transformed the economy. In the late 1800s, this botany student at the Iowa Agricultural College was recruited by Booker T. Washington to join the Tuskegee Institute’s Agricultural School, where Carver would discover and share his new agricultural technique.
Carver found that growing cotton year after year exhausted soil of its nutrients. To end this vicious cycle, Carver planted cotton one year and soil-enriching peanuts or sweet potatoes the next. Southern farmers gave his method a chance and reaped the benefits. Because of Carver’s innovative method, the soil was of better quality and the farmers were able to feed their livestock with the surplus of peanuts.
Carver also famously developed more than 300 ways to use peanuts, some of which were cooking oil, hand lotion and even ink!
Madam C.J. Walker
It was hair loss that inspired this innovative inventor to find a better way. Madam Walker’s story dates back to the 1890s when she began suffering from hair loss, a very common occurrence at this time in history. To find a solution to this ongoing problem, Madam Walker began conducting her own experiments and after some time, she created her formula that she dubbed, “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.” Once her invention was completed, she hit the road and made her rounds throughout the country spreading the word about her hair care tips and products for African American women. It was her knowledge, determination and self-promotional expertise that made Madam Walker one of the first self-made female millionaires in America!
Lewis Howard Latimer
Latimer is best known for his lightbulb moment that occurred when he worked with famous inventor Hiram Maxim at the U.S. Electric Lighting Company. In 1881, Latimer received a patent for a carbon filament for the incandescent lightbulb. It was this invention that shed light on a better way to make electric lighting not only more practical, but also affordable for the average household as well!
Now, these were three historic African American inventors. Check back in the coming weeks when we spotlight contemporary inventors!
Copyright Davison, 2016