Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Journalist Brody here compiles biographical sketches of more than 60 African Americans who have brought out inventions and innovative ideas since the slave era. The book lacks an overarching essay, most profiles are brief and workmanlike, but readers may find it valuable as a compendium of long-ignored history. Slave inventors like a man named Ned, who built a cotton scraper in the 1850s, were taken advantage of because, as non-citizens, they couldn't get patents. Jan Earnst Maetzeliger (1852-1889) designed a valuable shoe-stiching machine, but never profited from his invention. Charles Drew (1904-1950) developed the blood bank, but when he headed the American Red Cross blood donor project during WW II, he couldn't persuade the armed forces to mix blood from blacks and whites. Brody devotes the most attention to such better-known innovators as mathematician-astronomer Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), scientist George Washington Carver (1860-1943) and North Pole explorer Matthew Henson (1866-1955). Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Theresa Ducato
J. T. White invented the lemon squeezer, and Sarah Boone the ironing board, but other black men and women ventured into the realms of medicine and technology, their achievements all the more remarkable given slavery, racism, and illiteracy. The author has compiled the names and accomplishments of more than 60 African American innovators. Among those discussed are Daniel Hall Williams (1856-1931), who was the first person to perform open heart surgery (in 1893 at Chicago's Provident Hospital, which he'd founded two years earlier); Matthew Alexander Henson (1866-1955), who sailed with Rear Admiral Robert Peary in 1909 and was the first known person to reach the North Pole, where he waited for Peary to catch up; and Michael Crostin, who invented Medtek 410, a computerized blood pressure device, and is a consultant with NASA, IBM, and the American Hospital Supply. This book makes informative reading and a valuable research source for any library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688115364
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208

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