Black inventors have made considerable contributions to many things we take for granted today. Consider for example, the blue mail box.
“In 1891, anyone interested in mailing a letter would have to make the long trip to the post office. In order to make mailing a letter more convenient, Philip B. Downing designed a metal box with four legs which he patented on October 27, 1891. He called his device a street letter box and it is the predecessor of today’s mailbox.
And the same inventor also brought us the light switch! One year earlier, Downing patented an electrical switch for railroads which allowed railroad workers to supply or shut off power to trains at appropriate times. Based on this design, innovators would later create electrical switches such as light switches used in the home.”