Children's Literature - Beverly KobrinAlso absent from the Visual Timeline are African-American Inventors whose contributions Patricia and Fredrick McKissack highlight in their well-researched volume. They explain what patents are, how the U.S. patent system works, and they introduce the innovators and their patented devices in chronological order. Among the inventors are Jan Metzliger, who revolutionized the shoe industry; Lewis Latimer and Granville T. Woods, pioneers in the field of electricity; and Elijah McCoy and Frederick McKinley Jones, each of whom youngsters can learn more about in the books that follow.
School Library JournalGr 5-9-An attractive, well-organized series entry. After presenting a brief history of the patent process and the law, the McKissacks provide an overview of African American inventors throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including those who were free born and those who were slaves. Some of their innovations, such as those connected with the railroad and automobiles, are grouped together. Individual chapters are devoted to Lewis Latimer, Granville T. Woods, and Norbert Rillieux and Jan Matzeliger. Contributions of contemporary inventors are outlined as well. Good-quality black-and-white photographs and reproductions, along with the drawings that accompanied the original patent applications, appear throughout. This title fills a real need; its readable text gives information not often found in books on inventions or on U.S. history.-Margaret M. Hagel, Norfolk Public Library System, VA
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