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Black Inventors and Innovators - Joseph Lee

Updated on February 16, 2011


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.  


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    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Genna!!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      As a Bostonian, I find these wonderful articles fascinating. Thank you!

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Eiddwen - I had never heard of Lee either so it was interesting to study him.

      BkCreative - Funny I was thinking about purchasing a bread machine as well and was shocked when I came across Lee's name and invention!

      Thank you Hello Hello!!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      That a fantastic story of an amazing man. Thank you

    • BkCreative profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I just so happen to be in the market for a bread machine. How great to know the history.

      Wonderful - and rated way up. Yay!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Hi Triplet Mom,

      A very interesting read about Joseph Lee. I must admit that I had never heard of him and this is what makes HP the great place that it is ie All the different themes!!!

      I vote this up and an useful.

      Take care,


    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you SweetiePie!! I love all things bread too. Its seriously my downfall but who can say no! Thank you again!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This is a very informative hub about Joseph Lee, and I am going to share the link on my Facebook page about articles of interest. Of course I have to like Lee, he created many things possible with bread. Did I mention I like bread a lot? I am also going to twitter it!


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