The contributions of African Americans throughout the history of America are celebrated during the month of February. There are many interesting facts about the inventions, public service and political influences of American Americans such as Charles Drew, the first African American surgeon to establish the concept of the blood bank, and Joseph Lee, who invented a bread baking machine in 1895. There is also John Love, who created the pencil sharpener. All are significant inventions that continue to impact the American people even today.

Designer

Benjamin Banneker was a mathematician, astronomer, inventor and writer. A most notable fact about Mr. Banneker is that he was instrumental in designing the layout of the Nation's capitol and its historical buildings.

Explorer

In 1909, Matthew Henson became the first African American to successfully complete an expedition to the North Pole.

Inventor

Elijah McCoy is credited with inventing a way to automatically lubricate steam engines in 1872. Later, his invention earned the term" The Real McCoy." This phrase reinforced the effectiveness of his invention in comparison to inventions that were counterfeits.

Houseware Invention

L.P. Ray invented one of the most simple but needed inventions in 1897. He invented the dustpan.

Clothing Invention

George T. Sampson is credited with inventing a clothes dryer in 1892. He accomplished this by creating a machine that would help clothes dry from the heat of a stove.