ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Black Inventors and Innovators - Benjamin Banneker

Updated on February 17, 2011


Benjamin Banneker was born November 9, 1731 in Baltimore, Maryland and died October 9, 1806. Banneker was taught by Quakers when he was young but quickly outgrew his instructors and had to teach himself. Banneker was an astronomer, mathematician, surveyor and a farmer. Banneker was the son of a slave and the grandson of African royalty.

When Banneker was young he met a man who owned a watch and was fascinated with how it worked.  Banneker took the watch apart and put it back together several times and then proceeded to make a bigger version of the watch.  Banneker carved each piece by hand and created the first clock ever built in the United States.

Banneker had incredible knowledge of soil and farming.  During the Revolutionary War Banneker grew crops of wheat to feed the American troops on land that had been barren for years.

Banneker was fascinated by the stars and skies and taught himself astronomy and mathematics.  Banneker’s fascination led him to be able to predict celestial events. Banneker developed an almanac that predicted weather, seasonal changes and included tips on farming and medical remedies.  At the time Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State and Banneker sent him a copy of his almanac with a long letter letting Thomas Jefferson know that Blacks should have the same rights as Whites.  The correspondence between Jefferson and Banneker would last for years.

Banneker was hired on as an assistant to help survey the new Nation’s Capitol when President Washington decided to move from Philadelphia to Maryland. When the person that was commissioned to develop the plans for the new city quit unexpectedly Banneker was able to recreate the plans from memory and the plans that he drew up were the basis for the layout of the streets, buildings and monuments that exist today in WashingtonDC.

It is said that Banneker died doing what he loved; looking at the stars through his telescope.

Banneker is considered the United States’ first great Black Inventor but he is so much more than that. Banneker never received a formal education but was able to accomplish so many amazing things; creating a clock, turning barren land into wheat, planning a city and so much more.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Eiddwen! He is an incredible inspiration and I am glad that I learned about his contributions and accomplishments!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Hi Triplet Mom,

      Thank you for another great hub in this series.

      I think that so far this one may be my favourite !!!!

      Quite an inspiration wasn't he ??? Our Benjamin Banneker!!

      It shows what can be done doesn't it??!!

      A GREAT MAN !!!

      Take care,


    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Hello!I am so glad that I took on this undertaking. I am learning so much and enjoying every minute of it!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you again and so much for doing all this work and sharing it . It gives me so much pleasure reading it.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you stigma!

    • Stigma31 profile image


      7 years ago from Kingston, ON

      Excellent Hub. I never heeard of the man before. Always great to learn new things. Voted up!

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you jayjay! I enjoyed reading and learning about him!

    • jayjay40 profile image


      7 years ago from Bristol England

      What a fascinating person Benjamin Banneker was. It must have been brilliant to have such a clever brain. Thanks for sharing. I have voted this hub up


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)