Celebrating Black Excellence

George T. Sampson

By Jeremiah Al-Jeleel

Black history should be celebrated every day. We as a people have contributed a lot to society. We contribute so much that some people don’t even consider that the most common household items originated from black inventors. For example, the dryer; most people would consider the creator of the dryer to be J. Ross Moore because he invented the electric dryer. Without the blueprints from George T. Sampson, born July 24, 1861, in Palmyra, New York, this invention would not be what it is today.

Not much is known about Mr. Sampson. However, we do know that his mother was a slave and that he was born in Dayton, Ohio (Trinity Catholic High School ).  When his mother suddenly died from an unexpected illness, he and his father had to complete the duties she did. One of these duties was to dry clothes. According to a news article on Trinity Catholic High School’s Facebook page, around this time period, people had to hang clothes in order to dry them.

Whenever Sampson couldn’t hang all the clothes he would get whipped. This was believed to be the inspiration behind his invention: the dryer frame. Although clothes dryers existed in countries across Europe, they only consisted of a barrel with a hole in it, which was hung over a flame (Chuka Nduneseoku 2021). Sampson’s invention eliminated the need for that.

Sampson’s invention, patented June 7, 1892, is important because it led to the creation of an essential tool for modern society. People need a dryer to make sure that their clothes are dried completely and in a timely manner to prevent odors and damage. Unfortunately, Sampson doesn’t receive the credit he deserves for his creation. This brings up the issue of why it’s so important to celebrate black contributions. Celebrating black excellence tells us what we have done, allowing us to appreciate how our contributions to society have bettered everyone’s lives.