African-American inventor Lloyd P. Ray was born in 1860. His wife, Emma J. Ray, was born in 1859. Lloyd P. Ray was an inventor who created an improved version of the standard dustpan.
Ray's dustpan received a patent on Aug. 3, 1897. Unlike the original types of dustpans, Ray's added on a handle that allowed a person to sweep trash into the pan without dirtying his hands. The handle addition was made out of wood, while the collection plate on the dustpan was metal. Ray's patent for his dustpan was only the 165th patent to be issued in the United States.