improved refrigerator design was patented by African American inventor
John Standard of Newark, NJ, on 7/14/1891 - U.S. patent #455,891 - See
patent drawing left. John Standard was also granted U.S. patent #413,689
on 10/29/1889 for an oil stove.
In his patent for the refrigerator
John Standard declared, "This invention relates to improvements in refrigerators;
and it consists of certain novel arrangements and combinations of parts."
This means that John Standard was saying that he had found a way to improve
the design of a refrigerator that he looked at a existing refrigerator
and made it better.
Contrary to popular folklore John
Standard did not invent the very first refrigerator, however, every patent
represents something that has not be done before and most utility patents
are issued for what is called an "improvement." Improvements are the work
of inventors and often it is the improved design that succeeds.
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