Ellen Eglin [Clothes Wringer]

Name: Ellen F. Eglin

Also Spelled: Ellen Eglui

Date: 1849- after 1890

Born in: Washington, D.C.

Nationality: African-American

Invented: invented the mechanical clothes wringer (an ancestor of the washing machine)

Career: Housekeeper and also worked as a government clerk

Patent:  Click Here for Detail 

Note: When asked why she sold her invention to an agent for $18.00 in 1888 Eglui stated the following: “You know I am black and if it was known that a Negro woman patented the invention, white ladies would not buy the wringer; I was afraid to be known because of my color, in having it introduced into the market, that is the only reason.” [Amram, Fred, “The Innovative Woman,” New Scientist, May 24, 1984, Vol.102, No.1411, p.11]

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