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20 Black Inventions Over The Last 100 Years You May Not Know

Percy-JulianPercy L. Julian (1899–1975)

What He Invented: A New Process Of Synthesis.

Why It’s Important: His synthesis process was critical to the medical industry, as it allowed scientists to create chemicals that were rare in nature. The chemist’s work led to the birth control pill and improvements in the production of cortisone. In 2007 the PBS “Nova” series created a documentary on Julian’s life called “Forgotten Genius.”

Frederick-JonesFrederick M. Jones (1893–1961)

What He Invented: Mobile Refrigeration

Why It’s Important: His invention allowed the transportation of perishable foods such as produce and meats, which changed eating habits across the country. Thermo King, the company he co-founded, became a leading manufacturer of refrigerated transportation. Jones also developed an air-conditioning unit for military field hospitals and a refrigerator for military field kitchens. Jones was awarded over 60 patents during his lifetime.


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