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Lloyd Ray | African American Inventors and their Inventions

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Lloyd Ray

It is often the smallest invention that makes the biggest difference in our lives. Paper clips, Post It’s and the like have become part of our idiom and everyday existence, but few people ever take the time to consider where all of these amazing innovations actually originate. One invention that we could almost certainly not live without is the dust pan – not the standard option that one needs to bend down to use, but the more industrial version, which features a steel container at the end of a long handle, which could be sealed once the selected trash had been collected. The inventor of this essential piece of industrial cleaning technology is Lloyd Ray.

Very little is known about the background and life of Lloyd Ray, but it is clear that he had the ability to think outside of the box in order to solve problems. In this case, the problem was twofold – cleaning became a very dirty activity if you had to slave away on your hands and knees. And also, it was difficult to manage and collect the actual dirt. The most important aspect of Ray’s design was that it solved both problems. The long handle made it a lot cleaner and simpler to clean, and the steel collection box meant that trash could be scooped up without the need to throw away garbage every few minutes.

Ray’s idea became a template for many other designs. It really hasn’t changed in nearly 130 years, and is most notably the foundation for modern pooper scoopers, favoured by pet owners the world over. So next time you reach for your dust pan, than Lloyd Ray for the fact that you are not on your hands and needs in the filth that you are gradually collecting. Lloyd Ray, we salute you.

 

 

 
 
 
 

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