Samuel R. Scottron

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Samuel Raymond Scottron (February 1841 - October 14, 1908) was a prominent African-American inventor from Brooklyn, N.Y. who began his career as a barber. He was born in Philadelphia in 1841. He received his engineering degree from Cooper Union in 1878.

He was a community leader in New York, setting up organizations to promote racial harmony and fairness, as well as a public speaker and writer on race relations. He was a member of the Brooklyn board of education, and a leader in the Republican Party. He fought for the end of slavery in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

He invented a special mirror bracket which allowed you to see yourself as others see you. He went on to receive 4 more patents.

Here are his inventions and patent numbers.

  • 1880-02-17, #224,732, Adjustable window cornice
  • 1883-01-16, #270,851, Cornice
  • 1886-09-21, #349,525, Pole tip
  • 1892-08-30, #481,720, Curtain rod
  • 1893-09-12, #505,008, Supporting bracket

Career and Family[edit]

Samuel Scottron moved with his family to New York City when he was a child, where he completed grammar school. During the American Civil War, he was the sutler for the 3rd United States Colored Infantry and almost went bankrupt. To recoup his fortunes, he first operated grocery stores in Fernandina and Jacksonville, Florida, and then a barber shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was there that he developed and patented his first invention, the adjustable window cornice. Moving to Brooklyn, New York, he worked as a traveling salesman for an import-export business located in lower Manhattan while continuing to patent his inventions and, by the late 1880s, was able to support himself and his family by manufacturing the products derived from his patents. His company, the Scottron Manufacturing Company, was located at 98 Monroe Street in Brooklyn.[1]

Samuel Scottron married Anna Maria Willett, a native New Yorker, in 1863; they would have five children.[2]

He died in Brooklyn on October 14, 1908.[3]

His grandson, Charles Scottron, played for the Smart Set Athletic Club basketball team, one of the Black Fives teams, which were basketball leagues in the period between 1900 and 1940, when racial segregation was institutionalized, in which African-American players in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Pittsburgh, and later other cities, engaged in community-based and inter-city leagues and rivalries.

Scottron was the maternal grandfather of noted singer Lena Horne (1917–2010).



  1. ^ "">Scottron, Samuel R.(1843–1905) - Inventor, entrepreneur, Inventions, Chronology
  2. ^ 1880 Federal Census for Kings County (New York) Enumeration District 20, Sheet 2, Lines 21-30 (1061 Lafayette Street, Brooklyn, New York)
  3. ^ Kings County Death certificate no. 19328 for 1908. Municipal Archives of the City of New York, 32 Chambers Street, Room 103, New York City