Richard Bowie Spikes – January 9th in African American History

January 9, 1923 Richard Bowie Spikes of Fort Bragg, California received patent number 1441383 for a brake testing machine.

His invention tested the efficiency or power of the brake and recorded the results of the test. Little is known of Spikes’ life except that he was born December 4, 1884 and was an incredible inventor.

He had five additional patents, including patent number 1362197 for a trolley pole arrester on December 14, 1920, patent number 1889814 for an improved gear shift on December 6, 1932, patent number 1936996 for improvements in transmission and shifting means on November 28, 1933, patent number 2517936 for a horizontally swinging barber’s chair on August 8, 1950, and patent number 3015522 for an automatic safety brake system on January 2, 1962. Spikes died in 1962.

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