John Lee Love was an African-American inventor who invented the portable pencil sharpener. According to Biography.com, little is known about Love aside from his most famous invention.
While no official date of birth is known, most believe Love was born during the 1870s. Love spent most of his working life in Fall River, Massachusetts, but he died in North Carolina in 1931. Love is most known for his invention of the portable pencil sharpener, which is an item still in use today in most schools in America. Love also invented the Plasterer's Hawk. This tool is used by bricklayers to spread plaster and mortar in a flat way. Not much else is known about this inventor, but it can be assumed that he struggled in obscurity mainly because of the times he lived in. Love was born during Reconstruction and lived his life at a time when America was extremely segregated. As an African-American, he most likely dealt with many hardships while trying to make a name for himself and carve out a living in Massachusetts. The lack of information about Love is characteristic of a lot of African-American inventors of this time. However, Love's inventions are still practical in today's world.