Anyone who’s ridden modern elevators has Alexander Miles to thank for the stair alternative’s automatic doors. Prior to his design’s 1867 patent, riders had to manually open and close two sets of doors when entering and exiting elevator cars. If a passenger happened to forget to close one of the doors, subsequent elevator riders risked a potentially fatal fall down the elevator shaft. Because, as the adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention, Miles created a mechanism that forced both elevator doors to close simultaneously, thus preventing dangerous accidents.
Also a New York City resident, Marie Van Brittan Brown created an early version of the modern home security system more than a century later. Feeling unsafe due … Continue reading Marie Van Brittan Brown
A true visionary, Dr. Patricia Bath became the first female African American medical doctor to receive a medical patent when she invented a laser cataract treatment device called a Laserphaco … Continue reading Dr. Patricia Bath
Of the 57 patents Elijah McCoy — reportedly the namesake for the popular, complimentary phrase “the real McCoy” — received over his lifetime, the portable ironing board (for which he … Continue reading Elijah McCoy