Philip B. Downing was the African-American inventor of the public mailbox, a metal box on four legs with an outer door and an inner safety door. He called it a street letter box and intended it to be used instead of the post office.
Downing patented his mailbox on Oct. 27, 1891. Before 1891, safety was not guaranteed in public mailboxes because they were typically left half-open. With Downing's invention, the inner safety door ensured the protection of mail from theft and adverse weather conditions.
In 1890, Downing patented a railway switch controlling the power supply to trains. Residential electrical switches were later invented based on this design.Learn More
George T. Sampson was an African-American inventor best known for his early patent of the automatic clothes dryer in 1892. He also invented a sled propeller.Full Answer >
John Lee Love was an African-American inventor who invented the portable pencil sharpener. According to Biography.com, little is known about Love aside from his most famous invention.Full Answer >
According to The Black Inventor Online Museum, Phillip L. Downing invented the mailbox. Prior to Downing's creation of the four-legged metal mailbox, those wanting to mail a letter had to make a long trip to the nearest post office.Full Answer >
The thermostat on a Reliance 501 electric water heater is usually located in a metal box on the side of the tank, while the thermostat on gas water heaters is usually found near the firebox. Some units also have an external thermostat mounted on the wall near the unit.Full Answer >