Richard Spikes is the Black man who invented several components that improved, modernized and re-invented the transmission.
Research supports that Spikes also improved and/or created several other technical devices where such credit is attributed to him in the following list of accomplishments:
– Transmission and shifting thereof patent no. 1936996
-Modifications to the automatic safety brake 3015522
-Modifications to the automatic gear shift patent no.1889814
-Brake testing machine Patent No.1441383
Patents can be researched at the following link:
Many patents exist as an image, be sure to click on image and navigate the left hand side bar to see document text and details.
There is documentation to support that Spikes had many other inventions like the multiple barrel machine gun, the automatic car washer, beer keg tap that Milwaukee Brewing Company eventually purchased along with several others.
We honor Richard Spikes during Black History Month and forever more. One can only imagine the struggle Spikes and other Black inventors had trying to maintain recognition for their accomplishment in a world of oppression and racism.
Documentation reflects that Spikes licensed his automatic gear shift patent for $100,000 dollars…apparently, it was very important to him and one can also infer by the increased dollar amount that recognition of his invention was not easily obtained.
For centuries the slaves worked, it is only logical that they had increased knowledge about process and potential developments in many aspects of labor and function of devices thereof.
Slavery ended in 1865, so Spikes parents could have easily been slaves not to mention the probability that his grandparents most definitely had to be unless they were free Blacks of their era.
Thus, much of the accomplishments and developments made during the slave era were probably passed on to their children of which, Spikes would be one of those children.
Many of Spikes patents were during the era of Jim Crow laws, one can only imagine the degree of knowledge Blacks had in such areas that were discredited, the fact that he was allowed to patent anything reflects the possibility that his knowledge was beyond expert.
Readers seem to be particular with words and have become increasingly analytical in regards to the Black contribution overall. There is much controversy over inventions shared herein by my person in honor of Black History Month.
Efforts to both malign and discredit Blacks and their inventions reflect in both emails and face book responses to ads posted there; However, no amount of hate will ever encourage me to silence my voice in speaking for those who are no longer here to speak. I encourage all to continue to spread their accomplishments as I will continue to do.