Lyda Newman

Lyda Newman patented a new and improved brush.

Woman brushing hair, putting hair back
Nacivet/ The photographer's Choice/ Getty Images

African American, Lyda Newman of New York, New York patented a new and improved hair brush on November 15, 1898. Lydia Newman designed a brush that was easy to keep clean, very durable and easy to make, and provided ventilation during brushing by having recessed air chambers.


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Little is known of Lyda Newman's life, she was living in Manhattan when her patent was granted.

Some historians claim Newman invented the first hair brush with synthetic bristles, however, nothing in her patent indicates that was true.