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Past DID YOU KNOW... Postings

DID YOU KNOW? - a biweekly feature from PLATO's Diversity Awareness Committee highlighting the many contributions by non-mainstream individuals you might not have learned or read about. A brief fact will be posted in PLATO's Tuesday WEEKLY UPDATE email and more background on the individual and their accomplishments will be provided on the Social Justice webpage.

Past Did You Know? postings will be available on this archive page.

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  • September 05, 2022 4:35 PM | Deleted user

    DID YOU KNOW? for July 13 - 26, 2021:  

    Effie Waller Smith, a black woman with Wisconsin ties, was an early twentieth-century poet known for her books of poetry, Songs of the Months (1904), Rhymes from the Cumberland (1909), and Rosemary and Pansies (1909).

    Learn more…

    Effie has only recently been recognized as a poet who, not only revered her Appalachian home and its landscapes, but “pushed readers to reconsider and perhaps reject hierarchies of race, class, gender and place.” She expressed both feminist and environmental awareness and addresses both racism and classism as well.  

  • September 05, 2022 4:32 PM | Deleted user

    DID YOU KNOW? for June 29 - July 12, 2021:  

    Marcellus Gilmore Edson, who patented peanut butter, (US Patent #306727) was an African-American chemist from Canada.  Edson developed the idea of peanut paste as a delicious and nutritious food for people who had difficulty chewing solid food, a common issue in those days.

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    Edson was awarded his patent in 1884.  His cooled product had "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment" according to his patent application.  He included the mixing of sugar into the paste to harden its consistency.  The patent described a process of milling roasted peanuts until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state."

    Interested in more?
    Marcus Gilmore Edson 
    (Wikipedia bio): and 
    Who invented peanut butter:

  • September 05, 2022 4:29 PM | Deleted user

    DID YOU KNOW? for June 15 - 28, 2021:  

    The inventor of laser cataract surgery was Dr. Patricia Era Bath, a black American ophthalmologist and inventor. She holds patents in Japan, Canada and Europe.

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    Dr. Bath's invention was called the Laserphaco Probe (1986). “Harnessing laser technology, the device created a less painful and more precise treatment of cataracts.” Bath received a patent for the device in 1988, becoming the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that "eyesight is a basic human right." She was also the first African-American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center.

    Interested in more?

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