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A historic patent, Sarah E. Goode's Patent No. 322,177 for the Cabinet Bed, was granted 14 July 1885 and is one of the first two patents issued to African American women. According to the U.S. Patent Office, Judy W. Reed's patent no. 305,474 for a dough roller and kneader was granted 23 September 1884 and is considered the first.

There is little verifiable information on Sarah Goode s birth and early life although several sources indicate that she was born into slavery in the 1850s She ended up in Chicago Illinois and opened a furniture store that was fairly successful Many customers probably complained about the cramped rooms in their small urban apartments there was very little room for full size beds and other furniture Responding to the need to utilize space efficiently Goode designed and constructed a type of folding bed which doubled as a working desk cabinet When ...

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Charles Rosenberg

best known as the reputed inventor of the potato chip, who established his own restaurant in the resort community of Saratoga Springs, New York. His ancestry and ethnicity are a matter of speculation; he may have been best described in Saratoga Springs, New York: A Brief History as “of thoroughly mixed American blood.” He is generally reported in census data from 1850 to 1880 as mulatto and in later censuses as black. It is commonly said that his mother was of Native American descent and that he “looked Indian.”

Crum was born in Malta, New York, to Abraham (or Abram) Speck and his wife Catherine. Although oral accounts suggest Speck was from Kentucky and possibly had been enslaved there, the 1820 Federal Census shows a “Free Colored Person” male, age twenty-six to forty-five, of that name, living in New York, and the 1840 Census shows a free ...

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Due to unscrupulous landlords and discrimination-fueled scarcity, rents in Harlem were often double those of white New York City neighborhoods. The majority of residents—many fresh arrivals from the South—were poor and forced to devise ways to make rent. One popular scheme was the “rent party”: a nighttime gathering where for a small fee revelers could dance, drink, and socialize in a cash-strapped tenant’s apartment. Parties were most frequent on Saturdays, the day workers were paid. Rent parties were enormously popular in the 1920s; there could be “as many as twelve parties in a single block and five in an apartment building” (Drowne, Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance).

As the below interview with a former rent party host named Bernice makes clear practical motivations often gave way to more commercial ones and thus the buffet flat was born A buffet flat was a makeshift brothel set up in much the ...

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Andrew W. Kahrl

real estate developer, general contractor, philanthropist, and shipping and excursion steamboat owner, was born in Orange, Virginia.

Jefferson spent his youth in Washington, D.C. In 1881, at the age of fifteen, Jefferson enlisted in the Navy after falsifying his age. He traveled around the world working as a coal heaver. During his service, Jefferson secured connections with wealthy, influential whites, including Canadian shipping magnate Sir Hugh Allen, from whom Jefferson received a significant bequest after his death in 1882 Following his service Jefferson returned to Washington and started a small business that furnished manure and other fertilizers to city lawns and gardens and collected and shipped it out of town His wealth grew as a result of real estate investments Partnerships and friendships with influential whites in the city s business community helped to mitigate the effects of discrimination and protect him from ...

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Charles Rosenberg

best known for her many years as society columnist and women's editor for the nationally distributed Pittsburgh Courier, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Theodore O. Schalk and Mary Wilkerson Schalk, both of whom worked as waiters at a local hotel. Her father was a native of either North or South Carolina, and her mother born in Massachusetts to parents from Virginia.

Literary critics have inferred that Gertrude Schalk and her sister, Lillian, were the same person, using two different names, but census records show that they were members of the same family, born two years apart. Family life was a bit unstable. In 1910 their parents were lodgers in the home of in-laws Charles and Nora Harris at 240 West Canton Street, the children perhaps living elsewhere, or simply overlooked by the census. In 1920 the family was reunited in one of three flats at ...

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Erin D. Somerville

Annual two‐day street festival in London's Notting Hill celebrating Britain's West Indian community. The Notting Hill Carnival takes place on the Sunday and Monday of the August Bank Holiday weekend and is the biggest street festival in Europe, with audiences numbering over 2 million.

The five disciplines of the Carnival include: mass bands, or costumed processions and floats; calypso, political commentary set to music originating from Trinidad; soca, a fusion of soul music and calypso; steelpan, a traditional Trinidadian instrument; and static sound systems, originally from Jamaica and most often playing reggae music. The Notting Hill Carnival is greatly influenced by Trinidadian carnivals, which originated when slaves were permitted to dance, play musical instruments, and wear costumes impersonating their masters during traditional European carnivals held on Caribbean plantations.

Debate surrounds the founder of the Notting Hill Carnival. The local community leader Rhaune Laslett was long credited with creating the ...

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Joel Gordon

Egyptian movie star and bridge master, was born Michel Dimitry Chalhoub in Alexandria on 10 April 1932 to parents of Lebanese Catholic origin. Joseph Chalhoub, his father, a successful lumber merchant, moved the family to Cairo when Michel was four. During World War II his business expanded. The family moved into an upscale apartment in the exclusive Garden City neighborhood. As a teen, Michel attended the Cairo branch of the prestigious English-language Victoria College. His parents frequented the fashionable clubs and casinos with the glitterati of Egyptian society. His mother, Claire, became a frequent gambling partner—Sharif has called her a “mascot”—of the notorious King Faruq, who would summon her at all hours to play by his side and who regularly visited the family flat.

Young Michel showed little aptitude for academics He was drawn to sports Via an uncle he developed an attraction to French culture and language He also ...

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Granted 24 December 1991. Many of Lonnie Johnson's patents are held on imposing-sounding contraptions such as the Thermo-Electrochemical Converter, but the nuclear engineer's most famous invention is decidedly uncomplicated. Originally named the Power Drencher, Johnson's "Pinch Trigger Pump Water Gun," patent No. 5,074,437, added a separate pressurized air chamber to the water gun, traditionally a simple hand-propelled device. In 1991 toy manufacturer Larami Corporation launched the far-shooting gun—now branded Super Soaker—which would become one of the bestselling toys of all time.