Inventors are inspirational. Lyda D. Newman was an inventor, hairdresser, Civil Rights Activist, and Women’s Rights Activist. She invented a new design for the hairbrush that allowed for it to be easily cleaned.
Lyda Newman was African-American and a lot is unknown about her life, however it is believed she was born around 1885 in Ohio. By the late 1890s, she was living in New York City. Records continue to show a few details of her life in New York. Lydia applied for and later received a patent for a new hairbrush in 1898. Her design for the hairbrush had evenly spaced rows of bristles with open slots between them. The back could be removed to clean out the hairbrush whenever needed.
In 1915, Lyda was mentioned in multiple local newspapers for her work as an activist. She worked for a branch of African-American activists of the Woman Suffrage Party. She canvassed neighborhoods and organized suffrage meetings in her voting district. Census records show that Lyda lived in an apartment on Manhattan’s West Side and worked as a hairdresser for a private family.
Her work is remembered for contributions as an activist and to hair care. Be inspired! Have a bright day!