Philip B. Downing was the African-American inventor of the public mailbox, a metal box on four legs with an outer door and an inner safety door. He called it a street letter box and intended it to be used instead of the post office.Continue Reading
Downing patented his mailbox on Oct. 27, 1891. Before 1891, safety was not guaranteed in public mailboxes because they were typically left half-open. With Downing's invention, the inner safety door ensured the protection of mail from theft and adverse weather conditions.
In 1890, Downing patented a railway switch controlling the power supply to trains. Residential electrical switches were later invented based on this design.Learn more about Inventions
Eugene Schueller is credited as the inventor of the first permanent and commercial hair dye in the year 1907. Schueller called the dye Oreal, and his product would later grow into the company known today as L'Oreal.Full Answer >
Lawrence P. Ray, also known as Lloyd Ray, was an African-American inventor who received a patent for an improved dust pan. The dustpan was designed for use in commercial and industrial settings.Full Answer >
The scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla had an idea for wireless electricity, but he never found a way to make it work during his lifetime. The Wardenclyffe Tower project is perhaps the most famous example of Tesla's efforts to invent a way to transmit wireless electricity.Full Answer >
The drinking straw was invented and patented by an inventor named Marvin Stone. Stone's paper drinking straw patent was granted on January 3, 1888.Full Answer >