28 Days of Little Known Facts About Black American History | Paul Downing (5)

We are pleased to spotlight Paul B. Downing in day five of our first annual 28 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History

Paul B. Downing is one of America’s great inventors. 

In 1891, anyone interested in mailing a letter would have to make the long trip to the post office. 

Philip B. Downing designed a metal box with four legs which he patented on October 27, 1891.

 He called his device a street letter box and it is the predecessor of today’s mailbox.

Black inventors are historically unsung in being spotlighted for their game changing contributions; many of which have use down to today. 
Source: Black Inventor

About The 28 Day Campaign
This informational campaign: 28 Days of Little Known Facts About Black American History will see 540Blog share little known facts about Black Americans throughout history every day throughout the month of February. Those that were groundbreaking and history making but do not necessarily get the media attention and coverage.

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

4 thoughts on “28 Days of Little Known Facts About Black American History | Paul Downing (5)

  1. This is so true! I taught American History in high school for a short time and was constantly looking to insert black inventors into the fabric of or lives. This was before Google and you really had to do your homework to find a gems like Paul Downing! Love this 28 day list!!! Really could be endless! Talented young black men and women still inventing things every day! 🙂


  2. The mailbox was created by Philip B. Downing but you have Paul Downing’s information on this post (#5).


    1. Also I can’t find an accurate picture of Philip Downing. There seems to be a lot of confusion between Philip B. Downing and Alexander Miles.


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