This question has a high range of difficulty, but I will try to answer…It is a particularly hard task because there are so many undocumented inventions by Black Men and Women that were assumed by the inventor’s slave masters.
Slaves were not considered American citizens and laws at the time prevented them from applying for or holding property, including patents. In 1857, the U.S. Commissioner of Patents officially ruled that slave inventions couldn’t be patented. During the 17th and 18th centuries, America was experiencing rapid economic growth. Black inventors were major contributors during this era – even though most did not obtain any of the benefits associated with their inventions since they could not receive patent protection. (a)(more…)