Black Inventor Named to Hall of Fame
Continuing its tradition of honoring great inventors, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has named 20 inventors to its 2004 inductee class. This year’s class of inventors represents accomplishments in medicine, engineering and computing. Among the inductees is Norbert Rillieux, an African American whose work modernized sugar refining.
Each year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame inducts men and women whose work has changed society and improved life in the modern world. The 2004 class will be inducted this year on May 1st at the annual induction ceremony held in Akron, Ohio.
“We’re pleased to honor such an outstanding group of individuals this year,” said Rick Nydegger, president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. “We look forward to bestowing this honor upon them.”
Rillieux, who lived from 1806 to 1894, is credited with the automation of modern sugar production, making it dramatically more efficient and producing a higher quality of sugar. His inventions greatly reduced the risks to laborers who were previously forced to endure the dangerous and backbreaking task of boiling sugar cane in open cauldrons, according to foundation officials. Rillieux’s process elevated the United States from a minor role in the sugar industry to a major producer.
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