Who Was Robert F. Flemings Jr.?

Robert F. Flemmings Jr. was an African-American inventor from Massachusetts best known for patenting the modern acoustic guitar. The patent, number 338,727, was granted to him March 30, 1886.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office maintains a scanned record of this patent on their publicly accessible website. The six pages of the patent include technical drawings of Flemmings' design, which he named the "Euphonica," as well as a detailed list of specifications describing his invention. He claimed the volume, tone and sensitivity of his design was superior to contemporary guitars. Robert F. Flemmings applied for the patent on Sept. 5, 1885.