Who Is George T. Sampson and What Are His Inventions?

African-American inventor George T. Sampson is most known for inventing the automated clothes dryer and receiving a patent for it in 1892. He also created a propeller for a sled.

Sampson originated in Dayton, Ohio. With the help of a frame suspended above a stove, his clothes dryer, U.S. Patent #476,416, allowed clothing to dry more quickly. Clothes dryers were first created in the shape of ventilators, which were essentially barrels with holes, in England and France prior to Sampson’s invention.

Over a fire, the barrels would be manually turned. Sampson also created a ventilator, but his design did not require an open flame and utilised frames rather than a barrel. Modern clothes dryers are attributed with having been made possible by George T. Sampson.

The first electrical dryer was created in 1915, and the first completely automatic dryer was created in 1938 by the Hamilton Manufacturing Company.

312,388, Sampson’s other sled propeller invention, was submitted in 1885 and described mounting a propelling device to a tricycle. To make it work in the snow, the wheels were swapped out for runners.

The propeller would be turned by occupants of the sled using pedals on their feet. The U.S. Patent Office still has the schematics for both of Sampson’s patents on file.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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