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For centuries, African Americans have been a huge influence on American culture. Unfortunately, many contributions from African Americans inventors, especially women, have gone unrecognized. But, today we will celebrate three black women that changed the face of the health and beauty industry. Their influence and contribution are used regularly by millions of people, but most people have no idea where their most prized possessions came from. Here are three products that we probably couldn’t live without, and information about the black women who created them.

Lyda Newman-The Hair Brush:

brush Lyda Newman was a civil right activist, and amazing hair dresser. Born in Ohio, she moved to New York City where she patented an improved version of the hair brush. Newman patented her hairbrush in 1898. Her bristles were evenly spaced so that any dirt or debris could fall into a recessed compartment you could pull out and dump. Her contribution to this product made things more sanitary and efficient.

Madeline Turner-The Fruit Press: turner_fruitpress_bigMadeline Turner must have been a woman who was tired of squeezing fresh orange juice every morning, because out of her brilliance came the fruit press. It was a machine that extracted juice from fruits and vegetables. The fruit press first cut the item in half, then it would press until all the juice was extracted. For health nuts around the world this invention was paramount. Great to see that an African-American woman is responsible!


Maxine Snowden-The Rain Hat: US4378606-1There is one thing that will never mix, a black woman’s hair and water. Maybe Maxine Snowden was caught in the rain too many times but out of necessity she created the Rain Hat in 1983. This lightweight invention had a ring around the neck so you could tuck longer hair inside. What a lifesaver Maxine’s invention is to women all across the globe!

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