Holds the Most US Patents of Any African-American Woman
This week, Sara brings us Mary Kenner! Coming from a family of inventors, Mary wasted no time and went to work on her own first invention at six years old. She invented throughout her life, and received her first US Patent in 1957 for the Sanitary Belt – a precursor to the sanitary napkin! To this day Mary still holds the record for the most US Patents awarded to an African American woman – FIVE!
“So I said one day, ‘Mom, don’t you think someone could invent a self-oiling door hinge?’ “… “I [hurt] my hands trying to make something that, in my mind, would be good for the door. After that I dropped it, but never forgot it.”
“One day I was contacted by a company that expressed an interest in marketing my idea. I was so jubilant … I saw houses, cars and everything about to come my way…Sorry to say, when they found out I was black, their interest dropped.”