Jack Johnson: Not Just The First Black Heavy Weight Title Champion, He Also Patented Improvements To The Wrench

2 Posted by - May 16, 2019 - BLACK INVENTIONS, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS

According to blackinventors.com, Jack Johnson is one of the most interesting inventors ever, not simply because of his invention but more so because of his celebrated and controversial life. Johnson was born on March 31, 1878 in Galveston, Texas under the name John Arthur Johnson and spent much of his teenage life working on boats and along the city’s docks. He began boxing in 1897 and quickly became an accomplished and feared fighter. Standing 6′ 1″ and weighing 192 lbs., Johnson captured the “Colored Heavyweight Championship of the World” on February 3, 1903 in Los Angeles, California and became the World Heavyweight Champion in 1908. He defeated Tommy Burns for the title and thereby became the first Black man to hold the World Heavyweight Title, a fact that did not endear him to the hearts of white boxing fans.

Johnson was extremely confident about his capabilities, and defeated everyone he faced with ease. He also bucked many of the social “rules” of the day and openly dated White women. This eventually got him into trouble in 1912 when he was arrested for violation of the Mann Act, a law often used to prevent Black men from traveling with white women. He was charged with taking his White girlfriend, Lucille Cameron, across state lines across state lines for “immoral purposes.” Although he and Lucille married later in the year, he was convicted of the crime by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (who would later become the Commissioner of Major League Baseball) and was sentenced to Federal prison for one year. Before he could be imprisoned, he and Lucille fled to Europe.

Johnson eventually returned to the United States and was sent to Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas. While in prison, Johnson found need for a tool which would help tighten of loosening fastening devices. He therefore crafted a tool and eventually patented it on April 18, 1922, calling it a wrench.

 

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3 Comments

  • Hilda M Saulsbury June 19, 2017 - 9:15 am Reply

    Just think Mr. Jack Johnson invented what is now called a wrench. It is good he needed the tool.

  • Erick Dean Tippett June 19, 2017 - 11:58 am Reply

    This man was also a matador in France (southern France is a lot like Spain!) and he showed how mind is no
    respecter of persons, will wins out every time! Bye the way Judge Landis who fashioned himself of all things
    a ‘Lincoln Scholar’ is the dog that kept baseball segregated until he dropped dead refusing to speak with a
    delegation of blacks headed by Paul Robeson remarking “Negroes have their own baseball leagues let them
    stay there!” After his departure from this earth plane ‘Happy Chandler’ from Kentucky became head of the
    major leagues and said blacks had earned admission to baseball and supported Branch Rickey in his efforts
    with Robinson coming into the National League in 1947. Oh, and another little tidbit, only one Chicago Cub
    player voted to allow blacks into baseball and William Wrigley Jr. was reputed to have said he’d turn Wrigley
    Field into a public ‘flower garden’ before allowing Negroes to play on any of his teams! Whenever I see the
    advertisement of Cub players pulling Andre Dawson out of the vines in Wrigley I laugh wishing P.K’s old man was still alive to see that commercial! Strangely enough Wrigley’s general manager during the twenties and
    thirties, William Veeck Sr. (whose son bought the Cleveland Indians and brought Larry Doby up months after Robinson’s debut) was quite liberal and welcomed black patrons into Wrigley field (as Branch Rickey had done when he was general manager in St. Louis with the Cards!) where ever they wanted to sit!

    Life does have its contradictions, now doesn’t it?

    Erick Dean Tippett
    Retired Musician/Teacher
    Chicago, Illinois

  • Charles Clay I June 20, 2017 - 8:28 am Reply

    Very interesting !! The White community had and does have hero’s of equality, progressive change, honesty and dignity !!

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