Celebrating Black Inventors and Innovators: Part 4

Doug has returned with part four of his blog looking at Black inventors and innovators. Do enjoy!

Doug Daye


From Villa Finale’s Collection.

Oscar E. Brown received his patent for the improved horseshoe on August 3,1892. He produced

a double or compound horseshoe that involves an upper shoe that is attached to the animal and a

lower auxiliary shoe that is irremovable. The point of Brown’s invention was the provision of a

stable and reliable lock for fastening the lower shoe to the upper shoe. This would allow the

lower shoe to be promptly applied and removed from the upper shoe whenever the lower shoe

needed to be renewed or the calks needed resharpening.

Horse bridle bit

Print by Mary Bonner (from Villa Finale’s Collection).

On October 25, 1892, Lincoln F. Brown patented his horse bridle bit invention while residing in

Xenia, Ohio. His invention consisted of a feather or gag plate within a mouthbar, with long lever

arms where the reins were attached, and snap loops so that pulling back on the reins would apply

pressure to the horse’s tongue. This would cause discomfort to the horse’s mouth in efforts to stop the animal when trying to run away.

Horse Riding Saddle

From Villa Finale’s Collection.

While serving as a Buffalo Soldier, William D. Davis invented an improved model of the riding

saddle on October 6th, 1896. Davis, along with 5,000 men, served in the all-Black 9th and 10th

Cavalry that guarded the Western frontier in the last quarter of the 19th century. They were given

the task of making a 600-mile-long expedition to drive the Cree Indian tribe out of their

settlements for deportation to Canada. Since black soldiers were given the roughest stock,

Davis had the idea of inventing a saddle to make the ride more comfortable for riding on hard –

trotting horses. The saddle contained more durable springs under the seat and at the top of the stirrups. His invention made riding easier for calvary, cowboys, and male riders.

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