Henry Blair was the only inventor to be identified in the Patent Office records as “a colored man.” Blair was born in Montgomery County, Maryland around 1807. He received a patent on October 14, 1834 for a seed planter and a patent in 1836 for a cotton planter. Henry Blair was the second black inventor to receive a patent, the first was Thomas Jennings who received a patent in 1821 for a dry cleaning process.
Henry Blair signed his patents with an “x” because he could not write. Henry Blair died in 1860.