Black History Spotlight for August 31: Henry Blair

Henry Blair was born around 1807 in Montgomery County, Maryland. On August 31, 1836, he received a patent for a cotton planter. His first invention was a seed planter, in which he received a patent for on October 14, 1834.

Blair was the only inventor to be identified in the Patent Office records as “a colored man.”

Henry Blair was the second black inventor to receive a patent the first was Thomas Jennings who received a patent in 1821 for a dry cleaning process.

Henry Blair signed his patents with an “x” because he could not write.

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