Inventors are inspirational. Marjorie Joyner was an inventor, educator, political advisor, and businesswoman. She was one of the first African American women to receive a patent. She invented a permanent wave machine.
Marjorie Stewart was born on October 24, 1896 in Monterey,Virginia. In 1912, she moved to Chicago, Illinois. She met and married Robert Joyner. There, she studied cosmetology. In 1916, she graduated from A.B. Molar Beauty School. She met and subsequently went to work for Madam C.J. Walker, an African American beauty entrepreneur with a cosmetics empire. Marjorie oversaw 200 beauty schools as the national advisor. She taught 15,000 stylists. She co-wrote cosmetology laws for the state of Illinois. She,also, founded a sorority and national association for black beauticians. She and Eleanor Roosevelt founded the National Council of Negro Women. She was head of the Chicago Defender Charity network.
In 1939, Joyner started experimenting with methods for black women to straighten their hair. She developed a method using paper rods and cooking them to set the hair. She received a patent for her design. African American and white women liked the machine once it was in salons and credited to Madam Walker’s company. In 1967, Joyner co-founded the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association. In 1973, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology for attending Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida at the age of 77. In 1987, the Smithsonian Institution opened an exhibit featuring Joyner’s machine and a replica of the original salon it was in. Her papers are in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of African-American History and Literature at the Chicago Public Library.
Marjorie Stewart Joyner died on December 27, 1994 in Chicago, Illinois. She had a significant impact on the beauty business and politics. Be inspired! Have a bright day!