Black inventors who have improved our everyday lives

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of black people who, throughout history, have done so much to make North America the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous place it is today.

MicroFridge is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting black inventors whose inventions and contributions have improved all of our lives and directly impacted our business & products.

The transition from Negro History Week to Black History Month occurred in 1976, when President Gerald Ford officially recognized it as such. Since transforming from a week to a month every American president acknowledges the month of February as Black History Month and picks a theme. The theme for the year 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote” which honors the 100 years since the 19th Amendment which granted women the ability to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment which granted black men the ability to vote.

 

Carter G Woodson PictureCarter Godwin Woodson (1875–1950)

Known as the “Father of Black History”, Woodson was an author, editor, publisher and historian. His philosophy about history was that it is more than just facts and that it’s essential to know the social conditions of the time to truly understand. He started Negro History Week in 1926, which took place during the 2nd week of February to honor both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays fell during this time. Woodson was also one of the founders of the Association for the Study of Negro Life, which was created to highlight African American contributions to history and society. Woodson’s life’s work helped legitimized black history and its place in American History.

Learn more about Carter G Woodson , NAACP- Carter G Woodson

 

 

John Standard
Invention: Improved Refrigeratorjohn standard picture

While the refrigerator was already in existence, John Standard’s patent was for improvements to the existing model. In the patent, Standard states his invention “relates to the improvements in refrigerators; and it consists in certain novel arrangements and combinations of parts”. These improvements included an ice chamber, separate doors, and air ducts. You could keep bottles of liquid cool , and due to the ice chamber being separate, along with the air ducts, it allowed for easy removal of the bottles without having to worry about losing the cold air. Without John Standard’s improvements to the refrigerator we would be without our freezers and fridges as one unit.

Learn More about J. Standard

 

 

henry brown fire safeHenry Brown
Invention: Receptacle for Storing & Preserving Papers

Henry Brown’s invention was essentially a safe. It had compartments to separate documents, especially carbon copy documents. The user of the receptacle could choose which compartment they needed to open and access. It later improved to what we now know as a strongbox and what we sell as the Intelli-Vault Safe which is used in both hotels and college dorms.

Learn More about:  Henry Brown

 

 

 

Philip B Downing (1857-1934)
Invention: Street Letter Boxphilip downing mailbox

Downing’s invention was  improvements to the existing mailbox. It allowed for people who needed to mail something to only have to travel to the street and not the postal service to drop off their items. Not only did this invention bring about convenience but it also made the collection of mail for the postal carriers simpler as well. All mail put into the box went into a bag that was fitted to the street letter box and there was a door for the mailman to retrieve it all, the current mailboxes still function this way. The Danby Parcel Guard wouldn’t be here to help safe guard your packages if it weren’t for John Standard’s improvements.

Learn More about Philip B Downing

 

 

marie van brittan brown picture

Marie van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)
Invention: Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance

Marie van Brittan Brown was a nurse living in Jamaica, Queens in New York and wanted to feel safe in her apartment. According to the patent on file “The system includes a video scanning device at the entrance door of the house to scan a visitor outside the door, and includes audio intercommunication equipment inside and outside the door for conversing with the visitor out of the door”. Through her invention we are able to have the security systems we have now, even the camera in the Danby Parcel Guard which allows you to see your package being dropped off.

Learn More about Marie van Brittan Brown

 

 

 

Fredrick M. Jones (1893-1961)
Invention: Air-Conditioned TransportationFrederick Jones Inventor

Jones received his engineering license in the state of Minnesota at the age of 20. He went on to serve in the army during World War 1 and was often making repairs to machines and equipment. Jones was constantly inventing, and in addition to  his inventions and patents for a refrigerator, he also had patents for improvements for sound equipment

He is most known for creating air conditioning in trucks that carried perishable food. This is how the  the U.S Thermo Control Company was founded. We are still benefiting from that invention to this day. U.S. Thermo Control Company continued to grow during World War II with inventions by Jones that helped to preserve blood.

Learn more about:  Frederick McKinley Jones

 

Learn more about Black History Month from Biography.com and History.com

 

Without these inventors and their ingenuity we wouldn’t have our refrigerators, Intelli-Vault Safes, Danby Parcel Guard, or the Danby Health models. Check out the MicroFridge and Danby websites for our full product lineup.

 

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5 Basic Office Equipment for Starting a Business

Starting a business is a huge venture. It’s exciting, daunting, exhausting, and if you do it right – rewarding.  Setting up a new office space requires time, effort and organization. Business owners tend to undermine the physical components required to start an office or business, but it’s a critical aspect of starting a business.

Office equipment helps to make your day-to-day operations run smoothly. Investing in the right equipment and accessories can save you a lot of time, effort and money. It can help in organizing internal daily tasks and in efficiently running business operations.

When setting up a new office space – or even when sprucing up an old one – use this list to keep track of your supplies and any equipment you may need.

1. Office Furniture and Accessories

Let’s start with the basics. Office furniture is of course a must, and if you have the budget, it’s good to invest in high quality equipment for your business. Of course, each employee will likely require the following:

  • Desk: perhaps a stand-up desk or table top.
  • A filing cabinet or desk drawers to accompany the desk – depending on the design.
  • An Ergonomic chair: your employees may spend a large portion of their day sitting – and as they say, sitting is the new smoking. Provide your employees with a good quality, ergonomic chair.

Throughout your new office, you’ll need to ensure that each space is well-lit with efficient work lighting based on the tasks your team will be completing in each area.

2. Meeting Space Equipment

Will you be hosting meetings with your clients or potential clients in your office space? Be sure to provide a comfortable client seating area, preferably near the office entrance, as well as a beverage station so they can easily help themselves to coffee, tea or water. A tidy meeting space will surely win over any potential clients and a television is a useful addition to any meeting room.

Whiteboards and markers are another office must-have. They will provide your staff with an environment to collaborate and brainstorm.

3. Computer Accessories and Software

You’ll likely need to furnish the space with desktop computers and monitors, or have your employees provide their own.

Printers, scanner, as well as a router and modem are necessary, unless you plan to hardwire each device to connect to the internet.  Computer locks may also be useful for your new business and depending on your industry a camera may also be a requirement.

Word processing software and virus protection is also something that you should think about as it ensures your employee’s devices will be efficient and they won’t run into any situations where they acquire a virus.

4. Communications Equipment

Depending on your industry and roles within your new business, you may need to provide telephones and a fax machine within your new business. If your employees won’t be doing much calling externally, or if your hires are mostly young people who own cellphones, you can also use an app like Grasshopper for client calling via Wi-Fi.

If it’s in your budget, you may also wish to provide your employees with company phones.  Of course, this is dependent on your industry and budget.

5. General Office Supplies

A list of supplies that are sometimes overlooked include:

  • Business cards
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Stationary
  • Printer cartridges and paper
  • Pens and pencils
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Notepads
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

You should also ensure that your kitchen is fully stocked with coffee, tea, water, as well as small snacks for both your employees and any clients or consultants who may visit your office. The Microfridge is an excellent option for a new office space. Microfridge products include both a microwave and refrigerator, as well as a USB charging station, express cook settings, and programmed cooking options. So, if you’re low on space, this appliance will be the perfect fit for your new office.

5 Ways to Use a Mini-Fridge

Small but mighty, mini-fridges have all the benefits of a full-sized unit in a pint-sized space.

They’re perhaps best known as a dorm room staple, keeping home-cooked leftovers and tasty beverages cool for hungry college students. But it’s time to think beyond the dorm! There are many ways these versatile appliances can make life more convenient.

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Here are a few other cool ways to use a mini-fridge you may want to try!

Stay Energized at the Office

Do you spend most of your days working at a desk? If so, a mini-fridge can be a solid addition to your workspace. Use it to store homemade lunches, coffee, cream or milk, snacks, or drinks.

Having a mini-fridge at your desk will keep you well-fed and hydrated throughout the day, without the need to use that germy water-cooler or nasty lunchroom fridge. Stock the mini-fridge with healthy snacks to avoid the temptation of the office vending machine.

Mini-fridges are great for home offices as well, since they save you a trip to the kitchen (and its many potential distractions).

Store Homegrown Food

There’s nothing like eating your very own homegrown produce. But when it comes time to harvest, your fridge becomes full to the brim with fresh fruits and vegetables! Make room for more with a mini-fridge in your pantry or garden shed. The same goes for eggs from backyard chickens!

Keep Food Allergens Separate

Managing food allergies can be a challenge, especially when it comes to kids. When a child has a food allergy, families do their best to keep the foods in question out of that child’s reach.

But what about food that needs refrigeration? You can keep allergens on their own shelf in the fridge, but they will still be in close quarters with the rest of the food.

There’s a better solution: keep foods containing allergens in their own separate mini-fridge. A mini-fridge can easily fit a carton of milk, eggs, peanut butter cups, or other common culprits for food allergies.

Have the Best Bar Fridge

No one likes it when thirsty party guests rummage through their kitchen fridge. They may be your friends, but they don’t need to know about your emergency cheesecake stash.

Instead, get a mini-fridge to use as a designated drink fridge for your bar or rec room. Your beverages will stay cool, your guests will be happy, and your party will be way more organized.

Enjoy Cold Drinks in Any Room — Or Even Outdoors

Sure, a full-sized fridge is great. But it’s not exactly mobile. A mini-fridge, on the other hand, can go just about anywhere if there’s a place to plug it in.

You could stock your workshop or garage with choice beverages, or indulge in snacks by the poolside. A mini-fridge can make your car-camping experience all the more convenient. The potential ways to use a mini-fridge are limited only by your imagination!