Today in labor history: Black inventor Henry Blair patents cotton planter

On this day in 1834, Henry Blair received a patent for inventing the corn seed planter. Blair, who lived in Maryland a slave-holding state, was illiterate. It is unknown if he was slave or free.  He went on to design and patent a cotton planter.

In 1857 patent rights were denied to slaves and were restored after the Civil War. Blair died in 1860, the year the war began.

Photo: Wikipedia