All through the month of February we are instructed to celebrate Black History. We are going to do that by correcting some of the myths circulated throughout the month of February. Each day there will be another entry of the myths of black inventions.It appears the attitude of many people in our country are the same as those of the commenter on this blog a few days ago who stated, “Robb its pathetic you try to deny other races inventions (whether they invented it or not).” I guess this person doesn’t care about the truth.
Did many Negroes hold patents - yes - but a patent is not an invention. Only the uneducated confuse the two.
Did Granville Woods invent the electric trolley car,
Well he got patents, but even today you could get a patent on an elevator by making some alterations. But that doesn't mean you were the inventor!
Dr. Werner von Siemens demonstrated his electric trolleybus, the Elektromote, near Berlin on April 29, 1882. The vehicle's two electric motors collected power through contact wheels rolling atop a pair of overhead wires. The earliest patentee of an electric trolley in the United States appears to be Eugene Cowles (#252193 in 1881), followed by Dr. Joseph R. Finney (#268476 in 1882) who operated an experimental trolley car (see http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=scri;cc=scri;rgn=full%20text;idno=scri0003-3;didno=scri0003-3;view=image;seq=00324;node=scri0003-3%3A1) near Pittsburgh, PA in the summer of 1882. In early 1885, John C. Henry established in Kansas City, MO, the first overhead-wire electric transit system to enter regular service in the United States. Belgian-born Charles van Depoele, who earned 240+ patents in electric railway technology and other fields, set up trolley lines in several North American cities by 1887. In February 1888, a trolley system designed by Frank Sprague began operating in Richmond, Virginia. Sprague's system became the lasting prototype for electric street railways in the US. Also click here: http://www.railroadinfo.com/features/eot/early.html
Was it invented by American Negro, 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 Timeline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator