Blair was an African American farmer who patented two apparatus built to assist boost agricultural productivity. In thus doing, he became the second African American to get a Usa patent. Little is known about Blair’s private life or family history. Little is known about Blair’s private life or family history. It’s clear that Blair was a farmer who devised new apparatus to help in the planting and harvesting of crops. Although he came of age prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, Blair was seemingly not enslaved and ran an independent company.
An effective farmer, Blair patented two innovations that helped him to foster his productivity. The planter resembled a wheelbarrow, having a compartment to carry the seed and rakes dragging behind to cover them. This apparatus enabled farmers to put their crops more efficiently and enable a larger overall return. Blair signed the patent with the “X,” suggesting that he was illiterate.
This innovation operated by dividing the earth with two spade-like blades that were pulled along by a horse or other draft animal. A wheel-driven cylinder behind the blades deposited seed into the newly plowed earth. The layout helped to encourage weed control while dispersing seeds fast and equally.
In claiming credit for his two creations, Henry Blair became just the second African American to hold a Usa patent. While Blair seems to have been a free man, the allowing of his patents isn’t signs of his legal status. In the time Blair’s patents were granted, Usa law permitted patents to be granted to both free and enslaved guys. Since an owner’s slaves were his property, the plaintiff claimed, anything in the possession of the slaves was the owner’s property at the same time.
The next year, patent law transformed in order to exclude slaves from patent qualification. In 1871, following the Civil War, the law was revised to allow all American guys, irrespective of race, the right to patent their innovations. Girls are not included in this intellectual property protection. Blair followed just Thomas Jennings as an African American patent holder. Although the patent record includes no reference of Jennings’s race, his history was substantiated through other sources. Henry Blair died in 1860.