Inventions and a few scientific discoveries are clear evidences of the progressive use Negroes are making of their educational opportunities.

Among the foremost things that have promoted the progress of America and the world are inventions, the product of thought and patient experiment. The cotton gin, the steam-boat, machinery for the cheap manufacture of garments and of shoes, the telegraph, the telephone, electric light, and numerous electrical appliances are samples of the thousands of inventions which have made our lives so safe, healthful, and comfortable. In this field, the Negro has made notable achievements which can be conclusively proven, to say nothing of hundreds of cases claimed that cannot be conclusively determined. Besides, there have been many inventions by Negroes that, like Benjamin Banneker's famous clock in the 18th century, were never patented. The United States Patent Office keeps a record of the nationality of inventors, but not of their race. In recent years, however, that office through the initiative of Mr. Henry E. Baker,2 a Negro official there for forty-five years, has made a commendable effort to ascertain the patents secured by Negroes. About 800 patents have been definitely verified as issued to Negro patentees since the first two patents of com harvesters granted to Henry Blair, a Negro, in 1834 and 1836, down to Elijah McCoy's well-known lubricating cups for machinery in motion, the last patent issuing to him in 1912. This number does not represent more than one half of the patents granted Negro inventors. The credit for the others "must perhaps He forever hidden in the unbreakable silence of official records".

1 See Hammond, L. H., In the Vanguard of a Race.

2 See "The Colored Inventor, a Record of Fifty Years," by Henry E. Baker, pamphlet, privately printed. By the same author, "The Negro in the Field of Invention," Journal of Negro History, Vol. II, pp. 21-36, Jan., 1917.

The importance of some of these inventions may be gathered from a few examples. Granville T. Wood sold several of his patents, one reported to have brought $10,000, to the General Electric Company and the American Bell Telephone Company. The lubricating cups of Elijah McCoy have been famous for more than thirty-five years as a "necessary equipment in all up-to-date machinery," most machinists probably never dreaming about the race of the inventor. One of the most outstanding achievements is the machine known as the "nigger-head laster" invented by Jan Matzeliger, a Negro shoemaker in a factory at Lynn, Mass. This machine does "automatically all the operations involved in attaching soles to shoes." The patent was purchased from Matzeliger by Sidney Winslow and the promotion of this machine laid the foundation for the United Shoe Machinery Company and the great wealth of its owners and promoters.1

In the field of scientific discovery, the work of Dr. Elmer S. Imes in magnetic physics has received recognition by the leading scientists in America and Europe. Dr. Ernest E. Just, Dr. Charles H. Turner, and Dr. George Turner are names well known among biologists. Industrial and agricultural chemistry are debtors to several Negroes, the most noted of whom is Professor George W. Carver. The science of history knows well the name of W. E. B. DuBois and is beginning to acknowledge the work of Dr. C. G. Woodson and Professor Charles H. Wesley. With the larger educational opportunity fostered by Christian support, greater results will follow than have already been attained.

1 See statements in Munsey's Magazine, August, 1912, p. 722.

Strength In Negro Leadership

Another factor in the progress of the last sixty years has been the remarkable leaders among the Negroes. Many of these Negro leaders have been men and women of such outstanding ability and character that they have been recognized, not only as Negroes, but as among the great American citizens. Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Dubois, Harriet Tubman, Blanche K. Bruce, John M. Langston, Alexander Crumwell, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, James Varick, Richard Allen, Bishop Alexander Walters, and Bishop Daniel A. Payne are some of the more notable characters whose names are known in both the white and Negro world. Besides these, there sleep under the million stars a corps of others who have worked for the advancement of the masses with devotion, with power, and with large success.

Moreover, if one goes over the list of Negroes in many walks of life in different communities, he is impressed by the fact that the majority of these people have been trained in the mission schools established by the several denominations. This is not only testimony to the potency of the training they received, but a clarion call to the churches to supply secondary and higher institutions of learning within the reach of the masses of the Negroes of the South, that in the future there may be a better trained leadership.