Inventors and Patents From the City of Grand Rapids
Inventors and patents have a long and rich history in the Grand Rapids area. This article explores the history of Beulah Louise Henry, one of the city’s first patents. Henry patented various technologies that appealed to the burgeoning middle class.
Beulah Louise Henry
Beulah Louise Henry was an incredibly prolific inventor and her many patents reflect this. She created many products that helped women improve their lives. Her patents ranged from a typewriter attachment to a parasol. Her innovations were not only popular with women but also attracted reporters.
Beulah Louise Henry was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was nicknamed “Lady Edison” during her lifetime. She received 49 patents and is credited with over 100 inventions. Henry attended Queens College and Elizabeth College. She began sketching inventions at age nine, and by the age of twenty-five, she had her first patent.
In 1930, Beulah turned her attention to sewing machines. She invented the bobbin-less sewing machine and improved typewriters. She also invented a device for producing articulate sounds and a poodle-dog doll. Her inventions helped her earn tons of money. Her patents also included numerous toys for children. Beulah also invented the photocopier.
Henry’s business suffered during the Great Depression, but she kept working, increasing the number of patents she filed. Henry also improved playthings for children, and in 1936 she patented a mechanism for moving dolls’ eyelids. Henry was also an innovator of sewing machines. She got her idea from the chain-link ornamentation on a theatre marquee. The chain-link stitch machine made it easier for women to sew clothing faster and stronger.
Beulah Louise Henry’s first patent
In the 1930s, Beulah Louise Henry earned the nickname “Lady Edison” because of her inventiveness. Her inventions won her the title of America’s leading feminine inventor. In 1937, the Journal of the Patent Office Society hailed her as “America’s leading female inventor.”
Henry’s inventions were both practical and fashionable. In addition to her typewriter attachment, she invented rubber tubing that was used to inflate dolls and other toys. This helped reduce the weight of the toys. Another invention that she developed was a double chain-stitch sewing machine. This machine eliminated the need for a bobbin and allowed for smaller thread diameters.
Beulah Louise Henry was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was the granddaughter of a former North Carolina governor and was a natural born inventor. She was very bright and creative as a child and was said to suffer from a minor form of synesthesia, which is common in creative people. When she was young, she began sketching out her ideas and filing patents.
Beulah Louise Henry was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1887. Her parents were both artists, and she began to invent as a young child. By her mid-twenties, she had invented several things, including a vacuum-sealed ice cream freezer, a handbag, and a folding umbrella. After the success of her early creations, she moved to New York City where she set up a company that manufactured her patented inventions.
Henry’s post-war patents covered a range of household items, including toys, typewriter attachments, sewing technologies, and kitchen appliances. She also became the first woman to receive a patent for an ice cream machine.
Henry’s patented technologies
Henry’s pioneering work is still relevant today, but he did not receive enough recognition for it. His efforts made a big difference not only in Australia but around the world. His pioneering work in the petrochemical industry still remains unsurpassed. So why not take credit for it?
Henry’s business suffered during the Great Depression, but he continued to patent his inventions. His inventions included toys and sewing machines. His patented technologies appealed to the middle class and brought him financial rewards. His innovations made the lives of people all over the world easier. Henry’s innovative ideas also got her the attention of the press, which ran interviews and articles about her unique process.
Henry began making prototypes when he was nine years old. His first prototype was a belt with a paper holder attached. His early innovations reflected his observation and problem-solving abilities. His patented technologies became a commercial reality in New York City, and his pace of innovation accelerated. In the 1920s, Henry was working on children’s toys and patented more innovations.
Henry’s inventions were used by the Navy. He worked on the wireless system for the Australian Navy and collaborated with the Australian Naval Director, W. R. Creswell. This was an important event in the history of Australia. The wireless system he developed was used by the Commonwealth Government, including the White Fleet.
Henry’s patented technologies appealed to America’s burgeoning middle class
Helen Henry was an early twentieth century innovator who patented numerous technologies that appealed to the growing middle class. Her inventions included typewriters, sewing machines, and women’s apparel. Her innovations were complex, yet easy to manufacture and use. They appealed to the growing middle class in America and brought financial rewards to Henry. Henry’s patented technologies attracted the attention of reporters, who ran articles and interviews about her innovations.
The media framed Henry as a “lady Edison” in a more positive light, with journalists focusing on her modesty, charm, and femininity. Henry used these characteristics to shape her public persona to conform to gender stereotypes. But historians would frame her differently today. She would be viewed as a visionary.
Henry’s innovations benefited the American middle class and helped stabilize the workforce. Sales of his Model Ts steadily increased, and by 1922, half of all cars in America were Model Ts. In 1922, a new two-passenger runabout cost just $269. In 1919, Henry Ford bought out all of his partners in the company and became sole owner of the company. His son Edsel became president, but Henry continued to operate the company himself. Although he was an owner and CEO, absolute power didn’t necessarily come with wisdom.
Henry’s postwar patents included typewriter attachments, sewing technologies, and kitchen appliances. As his skills improved, his patents became more widespread and more useful. His 1950 patent for a stuffed doll’s inflated inner chamber offered lighter dolls and easy cleaning. Thousands of toys featured this new technology.
Henry’s patented technologies were easy to manufacture
Unlike Thomas A. Edison, who had set up an innovation lab in New Jersey and shared profits and credit with his inventors, Henry operated as a small start-up. He outsourced overhead and hustled for business everywhere. By 1898, he had patented numerous technologies.
Henry’s inventions had an extremely high degree of mechanical complexity. His stuffed animals, for instance, hid springs and wires. Similarly, a realistic baby doll was actually a small, fully functional radio. His toys were both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and they fit gender roles of the day. They were also masterpieces of engineering.
By the end of the twentieth century, Henry had patented 48 different technologies. Most of these technologies were easy to manufacture and use. As such, they appealed to the middle class in America. As a result, Henry received lucrative patents. He was also interviewed by the press and featured in articles about his innovative processes.
Henry’s electromagnet research was published in Benjamin Silliman’s American Journal of Science in January 1831. Silliman’s article outlined Henry’s key breakthroughs. These included the application of Schwegger’s multiplier to Sturgeon’s magnet, and the maximum magnetic force from a battery configuration.