EM Salute to Black Inventors: Pillars of Industry | Part II

(Last Updated On: April 3, 2016)

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The inventors highlighted in this continuing series are the top 15 picks of author, Keith C. Holmes, from his book Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success.

We will shine the spotlight on these inventors by sharing highlights drawn from Holmes’ celebrated book which is now available in over 1,500 national, schools, state, university and public libraries, including museums, research centers and  schools as a paperback in over 40 countries.


Dr. Charles R. Drew

Dr. Charles R. Drew, Washington, DC, father of modern blood plasma preservation and National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee. Dr. Drew was a pioneer in the medical use of blood plasma research. His great scientific and innovative work has saved millions of lives. Dr. Drew achieved many honors during his lifetime including three patents. He was also posthumously honored as one of the first African-Americans inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in April of 1990; since his induction, fourteen black inventors have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, patents 1942-1945.

Ralph V. Gilles

Ralph V. Gilles, Lake Orion, Michigan, has nine design patents that have transformed car design for Daimler-Chrysler. Gilles was cited as Car Designer of the Year for the Chrysler 300, patents 1997-2005.

Lloyd Augustus Hall

Lloyd Augustus Hall, Elgin, Illinois, received over fifty-eight patents related to meat curing compositions, solid seasoning, antioxidant flakes, and sterilization procedures for medical supplies. Many of his patents were assigned to Griffith Laboratories, Inc., patents 1933-1961.

Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson, Tuskegee, Alabama, awarded over one hundred fifty foreign and domestic patents, of Super Soaker™ Fame. His pioneering inventions revolutionized the water gun from an occasional warm weather toy into what is known as the ‘Super Soaker™’. Mr. Johnson started his own company, Johnson Research and Development Co. His research has expanded to develop a number of new ideas and inventions, patents 1977-2007.

Frederick McKinley Jones

Frederick McKinley Jones, Covington, Kentucky (Thermo King) received over thirty patents related to refrigerated units for trains, ships, jet transports and buses. Mr. Jones was the founder of Thermo King, one of two commercial refrigeration companies. These refrigerated units are responsible for transporting fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, medical supplies and flowers among other products. Thermo King Units for preserving food products feed billions of people every year, and generate billions of dollars in commercial markets, patents 1942-1961.

About Keith Holmes

Keith C. Holmes has spent more than twenty years researching information on inventions by Black people from over 70 countries. Without innovations, inventions, plans, financial resources, labor saving devices, materials and muscle, no civilization can exist and flourish. Black inventors, from the very beginning of their involvement in the invention and patenting process, have had an important and earth shattering impact on the world. This book highlights the work of early black inventors from almost all fifty states in the United States, including the first Black inventor who obtained a patent in both the Caribbean and the United States. For more information, visit www.globalblackinventor.com.

EM Salute to Black Inventors: Pillars of Industry | Part II