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Slave Who Founded One of the Earliest US Car Companies

It started with Charles Richard Patterson, a Black man born into slavery on a Virginia plantation in 1833, who translated his blacksmithing skills into a thriving carriage-building business in Ohio. And it ended two generations later, during the Great Depression, with his grandchildren fulfilling regional and international contracts to fabricate bodies for buses and other larger utility vehicles. At the height of its carriage business in the 1890s, C.R. Patterson & Sons employed a racially integrated team of 10 to 15 workers, who turned out 28 different styles of carriage vehicles, from simple, open buggies to more elaborate closed styles sold to doctors and other professionals throughout the South and the Midwest. Along the way, Patterson earned several patents for his innovations. Why is that most of the slaves contributions are never recognized ?

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