The Many Inventions of Beatrice Kenner 

Season 7
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Illustration of Beatrice Kenner

An accident that nearly killed Beatrice Kenner when she was five years old scarred her face for life, but it also gave her a determination to create solutions wherever she saw obstacles. This drive and ingenuity made her one of the most prolific African American inventors of the mid 20th century. This time on Sidedoor, we explore what might be Beatrice Kenner's greatest invention of all: an innovation for periods in a period of innovation.



  • Ashleigh Coren, Acting Head of Education for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, and Women’s History Content and Interpretation Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
  • Dr. Patricia Carter Sluby, former primary patent examiner for the US Patent and Trademark Office, past president of the National Intellectual Property Law Association, and author of three books on African American inventors including The Genius of Afro-Americans and Women in the United States and Their Patents, The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity, and The Entrepreneurial Spirit of African American Inventors
  • Rachel Anderson, Collections Manager and Researcher for the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
  • Adam Bisno, official historian of the US Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

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