Inventors are inspiring. Beulah Louise Henry was an inventor, consultant, and businesswoman. Her nickname was “Lady Edison” because she had so many inventions. She received 49 patents and invented about 110 items total. Her inventions improved existing items and/or solved problems.
Beulah Louise Henry was born on February 11, 1887 in North Carolina. She tinkered and was encouraged to tinker with things from a young age. In 1909 until 1912, she attended North Carolina Presbyterian College and Elizabeth College in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her first patent in 1912. In 1924, she moved to New York City. There she founded two companies: the Henry Umbrella and Parasol Company and the B.L. Henry Company of New York. From 1939 to 1955 she worked as an inventor for the Nicholas Machine Works. She was a consultant for multiple companies, including the Mergenthaler Linotype company and the International Doll Company. She belonged to multiple scientific societies as well.
Her first patent was for a vacuum ice cream freezer. Some of her inventions were aimed at children, others women, and still others were to ease office work. For children, her inventions included “Dolly Dips”, which were soap-filled sponges, and the “Miss Illusion” doll, which was a doll with eyes that could close and change color. Aimed at women, inventions included an umbrella with a variety of different colored snap-on cloth covers that could be coordinated to outfits and the first bobbinless sewing machine. For office work, inventions included a “Protograph”, a typewriter that could make four copies of documents and “Continuously Attached Envelopes” for mass mailings. Other inventions, included a sewing Apparatus and Duplex Sound Producer.
Beulah Louise Henry lived most of her life in New York City hotels. She never married. She lived an active life writing, painting, and caring for animals and natural history. She passed away in 1973. Be inspired! Have a bright day!