Miriam Benjamin was a Washington
D.C. school teacher and the second black woman to receive a patent. Miriam
Benjamin received a patent for an invention she called a Gong and Signal
Chair for Hotels. Her invention allowed hotel customer to summon a waiter
from the comfort of their chair. A button on the chair would buzz the waiters'
station and a light on the chair would let the wait staff know who wanted
service. Miriam Benjamin's invention was adapted and used in the United
States House of Representatives. Below you can view the actual patent
issued to Miriam Benjamin on July 17, 1888.