Creation: Spring & Easter
A bird can't know where the corn is ready to eat unless it flies. (Burundi)
We rightly celebrate our highly educated family members, those who earn higher degrees often at great cost. But what of the contributions from family members who could not read or write?
A friend recently told me she discovered her grandmother was illiterate only after her death, because she had signed her will with an “X”. Henry Blair’s “X” was also the sign that he could not even write his name when he filed his patent application.
Blair was born in 1807, the year before Britain ended its involvement in the slave trade. As far as we know, he lived in Montgomery County, Maryland. Some say he was a slave who found ways to work secretly on his inventions. Others say he must have been a free man, or else he would have been unable to receive a patent. We know he was Black because patent records identify him as a “colored man”, the only inventor referred to by race.
His corn seed planter allowed farmers to increase their profits by planting corn faster and with considerably less labour. He also invented a cotton planter.
Blair died in 1860, testimony to giving wings to our ideas no matter our personal limitations.
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