Friday, June 02, 2006

Black Invention Myths

This is what they teach in Black schools all across America. We like feel good stuff.

Traffic Signal Invented by Garrett A. Morgan in 1923? No!

The first known traffic signal appeared in London in 1868 near the Houses of Parliament. Designed by JP Knight, it featured two semaphore arms and two gas lamps. The earliest electric traffic lights include Lester Wire's two-color version set up in Salt Lake City circa 1912, James Hoge's system (US patent #1,251,666) installed in Cleveland by the American Traffic Signal Company in 1914, and William Potts' 4-way red-yellow-green lights introduced in Detroit beginning in 1920.

New York City traffic towers began flashing three-color signals also in 1920.Garrett Morgan's cross-shaped, crank-operated semaphore was not among the first half-hundred patented traffic signals; nor was it "automatic" as is sometimes claimed; nor did it play any part in the evolution of the modern traffic light.

See Inventing History: Garrett Morgan and the Traffic Signal.

Gas Mask Garrett Morgan in 1914? No!

The invention of the gas mask predates Morgan's breathing device by several decades. Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s, among many other inventors prior to World War I

George Washington Carver (who began his peanut research in 1903)? No!

Peanuts, which are native to the New World tropics, were mashed into paste by Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Evidence of modern peanut butter comes from US patent #306727 issued to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec in 1884, for a process of milling roasted peanuts between heated surfaces until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state." As the product cooled, it set into what Edson described as "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment." In 1890, George A. Bayle Jr., owner of a food business in St. Louis, manufactured peanut butter and sold it out of barrels. J.H. Kellogg, of cereal fame, secured US patent #580787 in 1897 for his "Process of Preparing Nutmeal," which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called "nut-butter."

Automatic Lubricator, "Real McCoy" Elijah McCoy revolutionized industry in 1872 by inventing the first device to automatically oil machinery? No! The phrase "Real McCoy" arose to distinguish Elijah's inventions from cheap imitations? No! The oil cup, which automatically delivers a steady trickle of lubricant to machine parts while the machine is running, predates McCoy's career; a description of one appears in the May 6, 1848 issue of Scientific American. The automatic "displacement lubricator" for steam engines was developed in 1860 by John Ramsbottom of England, and notably improved in 1862 by James Roscoe of the same country. The "hydrostatic" lubricator originated no later than 1871.

Variants of the phrase Real McCoy appear in Scottish literature dating back to at least 1856 well before Elijah McCoy started designing lubricators.

Dr. Charles Drew in 1940? No!

During World War I, Dr. Oswald H. Robertson of the US army preserved blood in a citrate-glucose solution and stored it in cooled containers for later transfusion. This was the first use of "banked" blood. By the mid-1930s the Russians had set up a national network of facilities for the collection, typing, and storage of blood. Bernard Fantus, influenced by the Russian program, established the first hospital blood bank in the United States at Chicago's Cook County Hospital in 1937. It was Fantus who coined the term "blood bank." See highlights of transfusion history from the American Association of Blood Banks.

Did Charles Drew "discover" (in about 1940) that plasma could be separated and stored apart from the rest of the blood, thereby revolutionizing transfusion medicine? No! The possibility of using blood plasma for transfusion purposes was known at least since 1918, when English physician Gordon R. Ward suggested it in a medical journal. In the mid-1930s, John Elliott advanced the idea, emphasizing plasma's advantages in shelf life and donor-recipient compatibility, and in 1939 he and two colleagues reported having used stored plasma in 191 transfusions.

Washington DC city plan Benjamin Banneker? No!

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant created the layout of Washington DC. Banneker assisted Andrew Ellicott in the survey of the federal territory, but played no direct role in the actual planning of the city. The story of Banneker reconstructing the city design from memory after L'Enfant ran away with the plans (with the implication that the project would have failed if not for Banneker) has been debunked.

Filament for Light Bulb

Lewis Latimer invented the carbon filament in 1881 or 1882? No! English chemist/physicist Joseph Swan experimented with a carbon-filament incandescent light all the way back in 1860, and by 1878 had developed a better design which he patented in Britain. On the other side of the Atlantic, Thomas Edison developed a successful carbon-filament bulb, receiving a patent for it in January 1880 (#223898), before Lewis Latimer did any work in electric lighting. From 1880 onward, countless patents were issued for innovations in filament design and manufacture (Edison had over 50 of them). Neither of Latimer's two filament-related patents in 1881 and 1882 were among the most important innovations, nor did they make the light bulb last longer, nor is there reason to believe they were adopted outside Hiram Maxim's company where Latimer worked at the time. (He was not hired by Edison's company until 1884, primarily as a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigations).Latimer also did not come up with the first screw socket for the light bulb or the first book on electric lighting.Heart Surgery (first successful)

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams in 1893? No!

Dr. Williams repaired a wound not in the heart muscle itself, but in the sac surrounding it, the pericardium. This operation was not the first of its type: Henry Dalton of St. Louis performed a nearly identical operation two years earlier, with the patient fully recovering. Decades before that, the Spaniard Francisco Romero carried out the first successful pericardial surgery of any type, incising the pericardium to drain fluid compressing the heart.Surgery on the actual human heart muscle, and not just the pericardium, was first successfully accomplished by Ludwig Rehn of Germany when he repaired a wounded right ventricle in 1896. More than 50 years later came surgery on the open heart, pioneered by John Lewis, C. Walton Lillehei (often called the "father of open heart surgery") and John Gibbon (who invented the heart-lung machine).

"Third Rail" Granville Woods in 1901? No!

Werner von Siemens pioneered the use of an electrified third rail as a means for powering railway vehicles when he demonstrated an experimental electric train at the 1879 Berlin Industrial Exhibition. In the US, English-born Leo Daft used a third-rail system to electrify the Baltimore & Hampden lines in 1885. The first electrically powered subway trains, which debuted in London in the autumn of 1890, likewise drew power from a third rail. Details...Railway Telegraph Granville Woods prevented railway accidents and saved countless lives by inventing the train telegraph (patented in 1887), which allowed communication to and from moving trains? No! The earliest patents for train telegraphs go back to at least 1873. Lucius Phelps was the first inventor in the field to attract widespread notice, and the telegrams he exchanged on the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad in January 1885 were hailed in the Feb. 21, 1885 issue of Scientific American as "perhaps the first ever sent to and from a moving train." Phelps remained at the forefront in developing the technology and by the end of 1887 already held 14 US patents on his system. He joined a team led by Thomas Edison, who had been working on his "grasshopper telegraph" for trains, and together they constructed on the Lehigh Valley Railroad one of the only induction telegraph systems ever put to commercial use. Although this telegraph was a technical success, it fulfilled no public want, and the market for on-board train telegraphy never took off. There is no evidence that any commercial railway telegraph based on Granville Woods's patents was ever built.

About the patent interference case.

Air Conditioner Frederick Jones in 1949? No!

Dr. Willis Carrier built the first machine to control both the temperature and humidity of indoor air. He received the first of many patents in 1906 (US patent #808897, for the "Apparatus for Treating Air"). In 1911 he published the formulae that became the scientific basis for air conditioning design, and four years later formed the Carrier Engineering Corporation to develop and manufacture AC systems.Airship J.F. Pickering in 1900? No! French engineer Henri Giffard successfully flew a powered navigable airship in 1852. The La France airship built by Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs in 1884 featured an electric motor and improved steering capabilities. In 1900 Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin's first rigid-framed dirigible took to the air. Of the hundreds of inventors granted patents for early airship designs and modifications, few succeeded in building or flying their craft. There doesn't appear to be any record of a "Pickering Airship" ever getting off the ground.

Cellular Phone Henry T. Sampson in 1971? No!

On July 6, 1971, Sampson and co-inventor George Miley received a patent on a "gamma electric cell" that converted a gamma ray input into an electrical output (Among the first to do that was Bernhard Gross, US patent #3122640, 1964). What, you ask, does gamma radiation have to do with cellular communications technology? The answer: nothing. Some multiculturalist pseudo-historian must have seen the words "electric" and "cell" and thought "cell phone."The father of the cell phone is Martin Cooper who first demonstrated the technology in 1973.

Clothes Dryer George T. Sampson in 1892? No! The "clothes-drier" described in Sampson's patent was actually a rack for holding clothes near a stove, and was intended as an "improvement" on similar contraptions:My invention relates to improvements in clothes-driers.... The object of my invention is to suspend clothing in close relation to a stove by means of frames so constructed that they can be readily placed in proper position and put aside when not required for use.

US patent #476416, 1892

Nineteen years earlier, there were already over 300 US patents for such "clothes-driers" (Subject-Matter Index of Patents...1790 to 1873).A Frenchman named Pochon in 1799 built the first known tumble dryer a crank-driven, rotating metal drum pierced with ventilation holes and held over heat. Electric tumble dryers appeared in the first half of the 20th century.

Elevator Alexander Miles in 1887? No!

Was Miles the first to patent a self-closing shaft door? No! Steam-powered hoisting devices were used in England by 1800. Elisha Graves Otis' 1853 "safety elevator" prevented the car from falling if the cable broke, and thus paved the way for the first commercial passenger elevator, installed in New York City's Haughwout Department Store in 1857. The first electric elevator appeared in Mannheim, Germany in 1880, built by the German firm of Siemens and Halske. A self-closing shaft door was invented by J.W. Meaker in 1874 ("Improvement in Self-closing Hatchways," US Patent No. 147,853).

See Elevator TimelineFastest

Computer/Computation Was Philip Emeagwali responsible for the world's fastest computer or computation in 1989? Did he win the "Nobel Prize of computing"? Is he a "father of the Internet"? No! The fastest performance of a computer application in 1989 was 6 billion floating point operations per second (6 Gflops), achieved by a team from Mobil and Thinking Machines Corp. on a 64,000-processor "Connection Machine" invented by Danny Hillis. That was almost double the 3.1 Gflops of Emeagwali's computation. Computing's Nobel Prize equivalent is the Turing Award, which Emeagwali has never won.

More...Fire Extinguisher Thomas J. Martin in 1872? No!

In 1813, British army captain George Manby created the first known portable fire extinguisher: a two-foot-tall copper cylinder that held 3 gallons of water and used compressed air as a propellant. One of the earliest extinguishers to use a chemical extinguishing agent, and not just water, was invented in 1849 by the Englishman William Henry Phillips, who patented his "fire annihilator" in England and the United States (US patent #7,269).

Ice Cream Augustus Jackson in 1832? No! Flavored ices resembling sherbet were known in China in ancient times. In Europe, sherbet-like concoctions evolved into ice cream by the 16th century, and around 1670 or so, the Cafe Procope in Paris offered creamy frozen dairy desserts to the public. The first written record of ice cream in the New World comes from a letter dated 1700, attesting that Maryland Governor William Bladen served the treat to his guests. In 1777, the New York Gazette advertised the sale of ice cream by confectioner Philip Lenzi. History of Ice Cream.

Laser Cataract Surgery Patricia Bath "transformed eye surgery" by inventing the first laser device to treat cataracts in 1986? No! Use of lasers to treat cataracts in the eye began to develop in the mid 1970s. M.M. Krasnov of Russia reported the first such procedure in 1975. One of the earliest US patents for laser cataract removal (#3,982,541) was issued to Francis L'Esperance in 1976. In later years, a number of experimenters worked independently on laser devices for removing cataracts, including Daniel Eichenbaum, whose work became the basis of the Paradigm Photon device; and Jack Dodick, whose Dodick Laser PhotoLysis System eventually became the first laser unit to win FDA approval for cataract removal in the United States. Still, the majority of cataract surgeries continue to be performed using ultrasound devices, not lasers.

Details...Lawn Mower John Burr in 1899? No! English engineer Edwin Budding invented the first reel-type lawn mower (with blades arranged in a cylindrical pattern) and had it patented in England in 1830. In 1868 the United States issued patent #73807 to Amariah M. Hills of Connecticut, who went on to establish the Archimedean Lawn Mower Co. in 1871. By 1888, the US Patent Office had granted 138 patents for lawn mowers (Butterworth, Growth of Industrial Art). Doubtlessly there were even more by the time Burr got his patent in 1899.Some website authors want Burr to have invented the first "rotary blade" mower, with a centrally mounted spinning blade. But his patent #624749 shows yet another twist on the old reel mower, differing in only a few details with Budding's original.Mailbox (letter drop box)

P. Downing invented the street letter drop box in 1891? No! George Becket invented the private mailbox in 1892? No! The US Postal Service says that "Street boxes for mail collection began to appear in large [US] cities by 1858." They appeared in Europe even earlier, according to historian Laurin Zilliacus:Mail boxes as we understand them first appeared on the streets of Belgian towns in 1848. In Paris they came two years later, while the English received their 'pillar boxes' in 1855. Laurin Zilliacus, Mail for the World, p. 178 (New York, J. Day Co., 1953). From the same book (p.178), "Private mail boxes were invented in the United States in about 1860."Eventually, letter drop boxes came equipped with inner lids to prevent miscreants from rummaging through the mail pile. The first of many US patents for such a purpose was granted in 1860 to John North of Middletown, Connecticut (US Pat. #27466).

Printing Press W.A. Lavalette invented "the advanced printing press" in 1878? No! Movable-type printing first appeared in East Asia. In Europe, around 1455, Johann Gutenberg adapted the screw press used in other trades such as winemaking and combined it with type-metal alloy characters and oil-based printing ink.

Major advances after Gutenberg include the cylinder printing press (c. 1811) by Frederick Koenig and Andreas Bauer, the rotary press (1846) by Richard M. Hoe, and the web press (1865) by William Bullock. Major advances do not include Lavalette's patent, which was only one of 3,268 printing patents granted in the US by the year 1888 (Butterworth, Growth of Industrial Art). Improvements After Gutenberg.

Refrigerator Thomas Elkins in 1879? John Stanard in 1891? No!

Oliver Evans proposed a mechanical refrigerator based on a vapor-compression cycle in 1805 and Jacob Perkins had a working machine built in 1834. Dr. John Gorrie created an air-cycle refrigeration system in about 1844, which he installed in a Florida hospital. In the 1850s Alexander Twining in the USA and James Harrison in Australia used mechanical refrigeration to produce ice on a commercial scale. Around the same time, the Carr Brothers of France led the development of absorption refrigeration systems. A more detailed timelineStanard's patent describes not a refrigeration machine, but an old-fashioned icebox รข€” an insulated cabinet into which ice is placed to cool the interior. As such, it was a "refrigerator" only in the old sense of the term, which included non-mechanical coolers. Elkins created a similarly low-tech device, acknowledging in his patent #221222 that "I am aware that chilling substances inclosed within a porous box or jar by wetting its outer surface is an old and well-known process."

Screw Socket for Light Bulb Lewis Latimer? No! The earliest evidence for a light bulb screw base design is a drawing in a Thomas Edison notebook dated Sept. 11, 1880. It is not the work of Latimer, though:Edison's long-time associates, Edward H. Johnson and John Ott, were principally responsible for designing fixtures in the fall of 1880. Their work resulted in the screw socket and base very much like those widely used today.R. Friedel and P. Israel, Edison's Electric Light: Biography of an Invention, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1986).The 1880 sketch of the screw socket is reproduced in the book cited above.

Smallpox Vaccine Onesimus the slave in 1721? No!

Onesimus knew of variolation, an early inoculation technique practiced in several areas of the world before the discovery of vaccination. English physician Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine in 1796 after finding that the relatively innocuous cowpox virus built immunity against the deadly smallpox. This discovery led to the eventual eradication of endemic smallpox throughout the world. Vaccination differs from the primitive inoculation method known as variolation, which involved the deliberate planting of live smallpox into a healthy person in hopes of inducing a mild form of the disease that would provide immunity from further infection. Variolation not only was risky to the patient but, more importantly, failed to prevent smallpox from spreading. Known in Asia by 1000 AD, the practice reached the West via more than one channel.

Toilet T. Elkins in 1897? No!

The Minoans of Crete are said to have invented a flush toilet thousands of years ago; however, there is probably no direct ancestral relationship between it and the modern one that evolved primarily in England starting in the late 16th century, when Sir John Harrington devised a flushing device for his godmother Queen Elizabeth. In 1775 Alexander Cummings patented a toilet in which some water remained after each flush, thereby suppressing odors from below. The "water closet" continued to evolve, and in 1885, Thomas Twyford provided us with a single-piece ceramic toilet similar to the one we know today. Who Invented the Toilet?

Tricycle M.A. Cherry in 1886? No!

In Germany in the year 1680 or thereabouts, paraplegic watchmaker Stephan Farffler built his own tricycle at 22 years of age. He designed it to be pedaled with the hands, for obvious reasons. History of the tricycleTypewriter L.S. Burridge & N.R. Marshman in 1885? No! Henry Mill, an English engineer, was the first person to patent the basic idea of the typewriter in 1714. The first working typewriter known to have actually been built was the work of Pellegrino Turri of Italy in 1808. Americans C. L. Sholes and C. Glidden patented the familiar QWERTY keyboard in 1868 and brought it to market in 1873. In 1878 change-case keys were added that enabled the typing of both capital and small letters.

If we would teach the facts to our children we would be liberated. Don't let liberal lies send your children to hell.


afrknsci said...

I disagree with the "Black Invention Myths" idea. There are litereally thousands of inventions,improvements, and contributions of science by people of afrikan decent. The black invention museum in Los Angeles furnishes the patent dates for countless inventions. I also suggest the following works: Vivian Sammons Blacks in Science and Medicine and Spangenburgs and Mosers Afrikan americans in science math and inventions.In the educational school systems of america children are taught a sense of innate inferiority about the capabilities of their ancestors for example "BLACK INVENTION MYTHS".
Many are taught the "Greek and Roman myths of science". I doubt that black inventors are myths but honest restorations added to a distorted educational process that damages afrikan children. How can modern science have its roots in greece and rome? without myth making? How can it be taught that the scientific method began in europe with Roger Bacon,or copernicus or galileo?how could one honestly say that europeans developed the scientific method? Only through a system of miseducation that anyone would teach such things. In Ivan Van Sertimas book egypt:child of afrika refers to the scientific method from kemet to greece(translated from the amhose mathematical papyrus as well as the edwin smith medical papyrus 1000 years before the greeks went into the nile valley to learn science and 3500 years before francis bacon was born.Charles finch in The star of deep beginnings notes that afrikans were mining,smelting metal and making tools 40,000 years ago. it The error is that afrikans are not inferior whether we made contributions or not. Please read Ivan Van Sertima's book:Blacks in science ancient and modern.

akindele akinyemi said...

I have read Ivan Van Sertima's books in the past. In fact, I have two Senegelese educators that studied under Van Sertima and THEY (pay attention to this) even questioned his findings!!!

I know Black people have made contributions to civilization since the beginning but we go overboard sometimes with the "US" responsible for everything.

In fact, I KNOW the Dogon in Mali found Sirius B in space before the use of telescopes.

Or Imhotep and Zoser conducting science within the pyramids in Kemet.

However, I have questioned some of OUR own Black scholars sometimes.

I can give a shit less about Romans and Greek Civilizations.

I will tell you another thing. They say Henry ford created the car. How is that when people were already driving in Germany almost 30 years prior?

You make great points but BLACK people need to know facts, not feel good stuff. People keep pointing out the patent information BUT that is not what is being taught in schools. What is being taught in schools is BLACK people created everything.

DarkStar said...

Got it.

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