Humanities › History & Culture African-American Inventors and Patent Holders - S Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Inventions Patents & Trademarks Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated April 27, 2018 01 of 07 George Sampson - Clothes Dryer U.S. Patent #476,416 George Sampson - Clothes Dryer U.S. Patent #476,416. Included in this photo gallery are the drawings and text from original patents. These are copies of the originals submitted by the inventor to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. An early patent for a clothes dryer (U.S. patent #476,416) was received by George T. Sampson on June 7, 1892. George Samson also patented a sled propeller (U.S. patent #312,388) on February 17, 1885. George Samson wrote in his patent: "My invention relates to improvements in clothes-driers. The object of my invention is to suspend clothing in close relation to a stove by means of frames so constructed that they can be readily placed in proper position and put aside when not required for use." 02 of 07 Glenn Shaw - Fascia protector for fuel tank filler Glenn Shaw invented a protector for a fuel tank filler. USPTO GM engineer Glenn Shaw invented a fascia protector for a fuel tank filler, patented on September 10, 1991. Patent Abstract: An assembly for a motor vehicle has an opening granting access to a fuel tank filler. A fascia is mounted to the motor vehicle and has a slot grant access to the opening and the fuel tank filler. The assembly has a rear fuel tank door with a pair of mounting brackets for pivotably mounting the rear fuel tank door to the motor vehicle. The rear fuel tank door has a pair of upper turned lips and a pair of square apertures. A pair of expandable plastic nuts are received by the square apertures of the rear fuel tank door. A license plate is received by the upper turned lips of the rear fuel tank door and secured to the expandable plastic nuts. A flexible splash shield is sandwiched between the license plate and the rear fuel tank door and has a pair of slits for receiving the upper turned lips and a pair of square holes that aligns and register with the square apertures and receiving the expandable plastic nuts. The flexible splash shield has a lip which depends downward and is threaded between the fascia and the motor vehicle and a pair of ribs projecting towards the rear fuel tank door for guiding the flow of fuel away from the motor vehicle whereby the fuel making contact with flexible splash shield will be directed to the slot in the rear bumper fascia. 03 of 07 Jerry Shelby #5,328,132 Jerry Shelby #5,328,132. USPTO NASA engineer Jerry Shelby invented an engine protection system for recoverable rocket booster and received U.S. patent #5,328,132 on July 12, 1994. 04 of 07 Joseph H Smith Improved Lawn Sprinkler - #581,785 Lawn Sprinkler Improved Lawn Sprinkler. USPTO This lawn sprinkler had a rotary head as described in the text. Patent drawing for patent #581,785 issued on 5/4/1897. 05 of 07 Joseph H Smith #601,065 Lawn Sprinkler Patent Drawings. Drawings for patent #601,065 issued on 3/22/1898. 06 of 07 John Standard - Refrigerator Design #455,891 Refrigerator John Standard - Refrigerator Design. USPTO An improved refrigerator design was patented by African American inventor John Standard. 07 of 07 John Standard - Oil Stove #413,689 Oil Stove John Standard - Oil Stove. USPTO John Standard was granted U.S. patent #413,689 on 10/29/1889 for an improved oil stove.