Reviews for Black Inventors


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 February 1998
Gr. 6^-12. Although patenting a process to extract sugar from cane in 1846 made Norbert Rillieux very wealthy, he still could not walk New Orleans streets safely or visit whites in their homes. As was typical with other black inventors, he received little public recognition for his work. Train engineers were "reluctant to have a black man supervise the installation" of a greatly improved engine lubricating system--even when the supervisor was the inventor himself, Elijah McCoy. Madam C. J. Walker couldn't get her hair-care products displayed in stores, and Garrett Morgan resorted to impersonation to demonstrate his gas mask. With engaging flair, Aaseng tells of 10 black inventors, the problems they overcame, and the often slow, frustrating road to ingenious achievement. A bibliography, a chronology, and photographs supplement each chapter as do patent drawings where appropriate. This is a little longer and more detailed than Jim Haskins' similar Outward Dreams: Black Inventors and Their Inventions (1991), covering many of the same figures. See also Haskin's African American Entrepreneurs, reviewed below. ((Reviewed February 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
Ten short, well-written biographies tell the stories of black inventors whose contributions have often been overlooked or unrecognized. An informative introduction discusses the history of African-American invention and describes some of the many other black inventors not included in the book. Illustrated with archival photographs, each chapter concludes with a chronology. Bib., ind. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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