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John Love - Black inventor | African American Inventors and their Inventions

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John Love – Black inventor

John Love, who has arguably the best name of all famous African American inventors, hailed from Massachusetes, which has spawned a number of great minds, both past and present. He is famous for two inventions that are vastly different and equally useful, although it is for his second patent that he receives most recognition. This article will investigate both, as they represent the spectrum of inventive talent that Love possessed.

Love’s first patent was awarded for his improvements to an essential piece of building equipment – the plasterers hawk. This is the small square, now made of metal but occasionally of wood, onto which plasterers spread and ready their material for use. Previous designs were quite large and difficult to handle, and this was a problem that Love successfully addressed. He designed a folding aluminium square that could be carried from site to site, and easily held in one hand. This sped up the timeous plastering process greatly, and made it a lot simpler for the artisans involved.

Four years after patenting the plasterers hawk, Love designed and patented his most famous invention, the pencil sharpener. Some designs change through the ages, but Love’s pencil sharpener is the exact one that is found all over the world today. It was round, featuring an internal blade, and was manually operated. All you had to do was place the pen into the opening and rotate it to sharpen the pencil. It was a little bit more ornate than modern designs, but Love defended this fact by suggesting that it could be used as an ornament or paperweight, but was still portable. Love’s design was so revolutionary that it featured a compartment to capture shavings, which makes it even more advanced than some of today’s offerings.

 

 

Love’s work is on opposite ends of the inventive spectrum, but both are invaluable and enduring.

 
 
 
 

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