Inventions

Ernest J. Jamieson

During his tenure at the Cities Service Oil Co. in the late ’60s, Ernest J. Jamieson patented four inventions on the improvement of current gasoline compositions. One invention improved hydrocarbon fuel compositions for use in internal combustion engines by adding a detergent that prevents icing and corrosion.

Another invention improved a hydrocarbon fuel composition by adding a X hydrocarbylacid phosphate salt that reduced icing in the carburetor and improved water tolerance, thus reducing rust and hydrocarbon content in the exhaust.

Claude Harvard

Claude Harvard

Claude Harvard developed an automated piston pin inspection machine, which could clean the surface of automobile pistons to 1/10,000 of an inch and checked the surfaces with a magnetic pick-up. The device also checked whether or the not the piston had the proper hardness and the overlength and diameter of the grooves.

Claude Harvard was born on March 11, 1911 in Dublin, Georgia. He attended Telfair School, which was then located on Pritchett Street. His teacher and school principal Susie White Dasher was more than proud of Claude. Mrs. Dasher related that he was a mathematical wizard and was always at the top of his class.

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Granville T. Woods

Granville T. Woods

The Black Thomas Edison

Granville T. Woods (April 23, 1856 – January 30, 1910), was an African-American inventor who held more than 60 patents. Most of his work was on trains and street cars. Woods also invented the Multiplex Telegraph, a device that sent messages between train stations and moving trains. Born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 23, 1856, Granville T. Woods dedicated his life to developing a variety of inventions relating to the railroad industry.

Granville T. Woods literally learned his skills on the job. Attending school in Columbus until age 10, he served an apprenticeship in a machine shop and learned the trades of machinist and blacksmith. During his youth he also went to night school and took private lessons. Although he had to leave formal school at age ten, Woods realized that learning and education were essential to developing critical skills that would allow him to express his creativity with machinery.

In 1872, Woods obtained a job as a fireman on the Danville and Southern Railroad in Nebraska, eventually becoming an engineer. He invested his spare time in studying electronics.   Continue reading

Charles Richard Drew

Illustration of Drew by Charles Alston in the collection of the National Archives

Charles Richard Drew (3 June 1904 – 1 April 1950) was an American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.

The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job. In 1943, Drew’s distinction in his profession was recognized when he became the first black surgeon selected to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery.

Drew’s athletic achievements helped win him a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts and he graduated in 1926. An outstanding athlete at Amherst, Drew also joined Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Continue reading

Lloyd Augustus Hall

Lloyd August Hall

Lloyd August Hall

Born: June 20, 1894
Died: January 2, 1971
Birthplace: Elgin, Illinois
Occupation: Chemist and Inventor

Lloyd August Hall received his Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in 1914, a Master of Science from Northwestern in 1916, and a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from Virginia State College in 1944. Dr. Hall has served as junior and senior Sanitary Chemist of the Department of Health laboratories for the city of Chicago, Illinois from 1915 to 1919. He also served as chief chemist for John Morrel and Company of Ottuma, Illinois (1919-1921). He was President of the Chemical Products Corporation, Chicago from 1921 to 1924. Dr. Hall served as Consultant for Griffith’s Laboratories from 1925 to 1929, later as Technical Director and Chief Chemist of Griffith’s Laboratories in Chicago, Illinois from 1929 to 1946. From 1946 to 1959 Lloyd hall served as Technical Director.  Continue reading

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