The Registry

Tue, 01.25.1887 story

National Afro-American League is Formed

*On this date in 1890, the National Afro-American League was formed. Put together by Timothy Thomas Fortune it preceded the NAACP.

Fortune was the crusading editor of the New York Age, which was the leading Negro journal of the era. The organization dedicated itself to protest based on racial solidarity and self-help. It became defunct in 1893 because of lack of support and funds.

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Tue, 07.23.1889 story

The First Lock Improvement is Patented

On this date in 1889, W. A. Martin, African American inventor, patented the lock. This device was an improvement over the 4000-year-old bolt invented by the Chinese.

Martin’s lock consisted of a cylinder and spiral spring, coiled around a metal pin. It was the forerunner of modern door locks.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Mail Stop USPTO Contact Center
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313

Global Black Inventors

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Tue, 09.24.1878 story

A Black Inventor Patents a Library Table

On this date in 1878, African American innovator W. R. Davis Jr., patented the library table.
The patent number is, 208378.

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Mon, 09.16.1889 story

Claude Barnett, Journalist born

*On this date in 1889, Claude Barnett was born. He was an African American journalist and entrepreneur.

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Sun, 03.02.1919 story

The Associated Negro Press is Founded

*On this date in 1919, the Associated Negro Press (ANP), the first national news services for African Americans, was established.

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Thu, 06.16.1927 story

George E. Johnson, Businessman born

On this date in 1927, George Ellis Johnson Sr., an African American businessman, was born.

He was raised in a three-room sharecropper’s shack in Richton, MS. Johnson’s parents separated and he and his mother, Priscilla, moved to Chicago in 1929. He began working at the age of eight, shining shoes while attending Doolittle Elementary School, and then Wendell Phillips High School for three years before quitting to work full-time. Johnson worked during the day as a busboy and in the evenings he set pins in a bowling alley.

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Thu, 07.28.1825 story

James Presley Ball, Photographer born

*The birth of James P. Ball in 1825 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black Abolitionist, free Black man, photographer and businessman.

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Mon, 08.01.1881 story

Joe Bartholomew, Golfer, and Golf Course Designer born

Joseph M. Bartholomew was born on this date in 1885. He was an African American golfer who specialized in designing golf courses.

Joe Bartholomew was born in New Orleans, and was a seven-year-old caddie at nearby Audubon Golf Course. Bartholomew copied the swings of the golfers for whom he caddied, taught himself the game’s touch, and quickly became skilled enough to instruct others. He became such a good player–he once shot 62 at Audubon–that club members backed him in arranged matches.

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Fri, 02.05.1869 story

Minnie Cox, Teacher, and Administrator born

*The birth of Minnie Cox in 1869 is celebrated on this date. She was an African American teacher, and postal administrator.

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Tue, 01.02.1906 story

Elmer S. Campbell, Cartoonist born

Elmer Simms Campbell was born on this date in 1906. He was the first African American cartoonist to publish his work in general-circulation magazines.

Campbell was born in St. Louis, and while still attending high school, he won a nationwide contest in cartooning. He later studied at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. He then worked as a railroad dining-car waiter, amusing himself by drawing caricatures of the passenger. One of them was so impressed with his work, hed gave him a job in a commercial-art studio in St. Louis.

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