Bessie Blount Griffin was born in Hickory, Virginia back in 1914. She attended Diggs Chapel Elementary School. After graduation, she attended Community Kennedy Memorial Hospital’s nursing program in Newark, New Jersey where she obtained her Nursing Degree. She continued her education at Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene in East Orange, New Jersey and became a physical therapist.
She worked at the Bronx hospital in New York. While there she invented several things that assisted in the veteran’s returning home from WWII. Her first invention was an electric self-feeding apparatus to help amputees feed themselves. All the amputee would need to do is to bite on a tube, the food would dispense to the mouthpiece one bite of food. The United States was not interested in it so she sold it to the French Government. Her next invention was to invent something close to their face using a portable receptacle support. For that invention, she was granted Patent No. 2,550,554. She also invented the kidney shaped emesis basin that is still in use to this day. Again, the United States was not interested in the invention so she sold it to a company in Belgium.
What you may not know about Bessie is that she was the first African-American woman to make an appearance on the television show The Bid Idea where she demonstrated her ideas. She was quoted as saying “A Black woman can invent something for the benefit of human kind.” So, true don’t you think?
Until tomorrow give someone the free gift of a smile