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February 8th, 2017

Taking Time to “Celebrate Our Creators”

Lillie Howard
February 1st is the beginning of the celebration of Black History Month, therefore that’s what this week’s column is all about. Many are not aware of the many contributions that have been made by African-Americans, therefore I’m sharing information about some of the many, that many don’t know about.

To the many that may not be aware, throughout the centuries African-Americans have been a significant source of many of the creations that we have enjoyed throughout the years. They have made enormous contributions and inventions that have enabled people to have a better life. Serioulsy think about that, for we know not from whose minds the next inventions might flow from which could make our lives even better.

Here are just some of the many whose minds brought forth great inventions:

1) Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)
In 1761 he constructed the first clock. In 1789 his calculations had enabled him to predict a solar eclipse. Within a few years he began publishing an Almanac which contained tide tables, data and future eclipses, and a listing of useful medicinal products and formulas. Because he was aware of the prevailing attitude of the time that Black people were ignorant and incapable of thought and higher learning, Banneker published an Almanac each year for 10 years. He used it as a means of educating the whites as to the intelligence of Black African people.

 2) Elijah McCoy (1843-1929)
The lubrication cup which made possible the automatic oiling of machinery was invented by him. His invention popularized  the expression, “Real McCoy” which meant that people were getting the best equipment available.

3) Andrew Jackson Beard (1849-1921)
Andrew Beard invented an automatic coupling device that fastened railroad cars to each other by merely bumping them together. His device was called the “Jenny Coupler”. Beard was granted a patent for his Car Coupler on Nov. 23, 1897.

4) Jan E.Matzeliger (1852-1880)
He invented a lasting shoe machine and in March of 1883 he was granted a patent for this machine. May of 1885, his machine turned out seventy- five pairs of shoes. Previously, it took about an hour to fabricate a pair of shoes. With Matzeliger’s machine this was accomplished in 50 seconds.

5) Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)
He had over thirty five patents for electro-mechanical systems and devices that developed new energy techniques for communication, transportation and the earliest computers. Woods was responsible for over 100 inventions vital to a Modern Society. He invented the incubator. He electrified the earlier desk calculators leading to early generation computers. He also invented the basic Electric Railway System, by which all subway trains are being run.

This is just some of the many enormous and vast contributions that African-Americans have made to our society, which most are not even aware of. Beautiful memories are embraced because of these great men and so many others whose inventions have made our lives so much better. Seriously think about that. Let’s appreciate each other more for we just don’t know what inventions may be stirring around in each other’s minds. It matters not about the color of one’s skin but only the content that’s stirring within. PEACE!

This is Lillie’s Point of View and I’m just having my say!

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