Thomas L. Jennings

The aforementioned first African American U.S. patent recipient was working as a tailor and businessman in New York City when he invented a process for dry-cleaning delicate clothing known as “dry-scouring.” Jennings applied for a patent in 1820 and received his history-making approval the following year. With the money he earned from his invention, the formerly enslaved person both donated to abolitionist causes and even reportedly freed his still-enslaved family members.

Per: History

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