Black Inventors and Innovators - Joseph Lee
Joseph Lee was born in 1849 in Boston, Massachusetts where he lived most of his life and died in 1905. Lee is credited with two patents one for an automatic bread making machine and the other for a bread crumbling machine.
Lee grew up working in a bakery from a young age. After a short time Lee was preparing, cooking and serving food in different capacities. With his knowledge and experience in the food business Lee was able to open two very successful restaurants, a hotel and a catering business in the Boston area.
Working in the food business Lee was able to learn a great deal about what worked and what didn’t work. Lee also noticed that there was a great deal of waste from bread. This was because bread had to be thrown out if it was just a day old. Lee thought that it would be possible to use bread crumbs in preparing food instead of cracker crumbs. Lee decided to invent an automated machine that could turn bread into crumbs. Lee was successful in patenting his machine and then sold the rights to his bread crumbling machine to the Royal Worcester Bread Crumb Company. Lee’s bread crumbling machine was used in major restaurants around the world.
Lee continued to look for ways to improve food preparation. Lee’s next patent would be for the Dough-Kneading machine. This automatic bread making machine would mix the ingredients together and then knead the dough as well. The machine made making bread extremely quick, easy and less costly. In addition the machine made better tasting bread that was of much higher quality that hand made.
Lee was truly an innovator in the food industry. Lee was able to use his knowledge and the experience he gained in the food industry to create devices that made difficult, time consuming tasks quicker and easier to complete.