Ellen Eglin

EGLIN, Ellen, African-American. This black woman is known to have created a mechanical clothes wringer along the lines of a mangle. Because of her colour, she feared that whites would not buy it from her, so she sold it off in 1888 to an agent (extremely cheaply), rather than risk commercial failure. She had not patented the device, but her misfortune came to the attention of Charlotte SMITH. Eventually Charlotte learned the details of many such cases of women inventors losing out. It then became a matter of history that Charlotte dedicated at least 10 years to the cause of women inventors (although never an inventor herself).

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