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Top 5: African American Inventors 2017

February marks Black History Month which honors the important people and events in the history of the African diaspora, as well as American history. To honor the achievements of this community, we’ve created a list of 5 African-American inventors and patent holders. ( You can check out a much more comprehensive list here, and check out last year’s list here).

1) Alexander P. Ashbourne

Coconut oil is a popular cooking oil and cosmetic tool in today’s times. But Ashbourne patented a way to refine coconut oil in 1880!

2) Bessie Blount Griffin 

Bessie Blount was a physical therapist who worked with injured soldiers from WWII. Inspired by her work, she patented a device that would help amputees feed themselves, according to African American Registry.

3) Marie Van Brittan Brown

Mrs. Brown invented a home security system that made use of a television set, and received a patent in 1969. She also received an award from the National Science Committee for her invention.

4) Granville Woods

Known as the “Black Edison,” Woods registered for close to 60 patents during his lifetime. His specialty fields included engineering and electricity.

5) John P. Parker

John Parker was not only an inventor–he was an abolitionist and a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

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