Born: Cincinnati, Ohio Unknown
Invention: Improved Mechanical Egg Beater
African American, Willis Johnson of Cincinnati, Ohio, patented an improved mechanical egg beater (U.S. pat# 292,821) on February 5, 1884. In fact, what Willis Johnson had really invented was an early mixing machine and not just an egg beater. Willis Johnson’s device was not intended for eggs alone. Willis Johnson had designed his egg beater and mixer for eggs, batter, and other baker’s ingredients. It was a double acting machine with two chambers. Batter could be beaten in one section and eggs could be beaten in another section, or one section could be cleaned while the other section could continue beating.
Willis Johnson – Egg BeaterPatent Abstract: The object of [the] invention is to provide a machine wherewith eggs, batter, and other similar ingredients used by bakers, confectioners, &c., can be beaten or mixed in the most intimate and expeditious manner. The machine consists, essentially, of a main frame within which is journaled a driving-wheel and a pinion or pulley, the horizontal shaft of the latter having at its opposite ends clutches or sockets, with which are engages square or other non-circular arbors at the inner extremities of a pair of beater shafts. Theses shafts, which are armed with suitable blades, beaters, or stirrers, are journaled in cylinders that occupy detachable trays or racks applied to the opposite sides of the main frame, hooks and staples or the convenient devices being employed for retaining said racks in their proper places. As a result of this construction, either one or the other of both cylinders can be readily applied to the racks, and the latter can be coupled to the machine, so as to insure a very rapid revolution is applied to the driving-wheel, as hereinafter more fully described.