Ospreyshire Origins: Scraping for Blanched Crops

Lyrics:

There was always a lie
That someone of my complexion never invented anything
They surely never met me
I was known only as Ned
I created the cotton scraper
Much like how my master took humans like me, he took my invention
So, Stewart. How did you come up with my scraper again?
Even the patent office rejected you again and again
You’re so typical in your laziness
When I cried, sweated, and bled more than you could imagine


This would certainly count for a good portion of the previous tracks on Dear Innovare, but this is still a good way to honor an unknown inventor to kick off Black History Month!

Even though he would only be known by the name “Ned”, I’m still going to give him credit and recognition when most people won’t. Ned was a slave who invented a cotton scraper. Think about it, cotton was king in the south which made the plantation owners multi-millionaires. Too bad their lazy butts couldn’t innovate let alone work on their own, so guess who had to do everything and not get the credit? His captor Stewart literally stole Ned’s idea and tried to patent it himself. This was during the time where black people couldn’t patent anything legally in America (expect this to be a common motif), but Stewart couldn’t prove that he invented this money-making machine. Shame how much money was denied for Ned who was the REAL inventor of that agricultural device.

Here’s a fun fact about recording: I actually used a fork to scrape against a vent for the acousmatics.

Ospreyshire Origins: About A Benjamin II: Montgomery

benjaminmontgomery01

Lyrics:

Born into chains and auction blocks
I was under the eyes of the Davis family
I vowed not to be chattel and kept myself learned
Those steamboats in the South enraptured me
Yet they could only do so much
One bad turn and a famine or shortage can occur
No need to steer people wrong and I would figure the right angles for this problem

Enter the propeller! (X4)

My design made these steamboats faster, more efficient, and had better navigation
Shame how my patent was denied (X4)

My former captors including the president of the South tried and failed to credit themselves for what I made
I dreamed of more despite my heartbreak

Isaiah, the rest is up to you.


On Wednesday, I gave a crash course on my Art Theft tracks, but today we’re going to focus on my About A Benjamin series on Dear Innovare. Part II involves the inventor Benjamin Montgomery. His biggest claim as an inventor is creating the steam-powered propeller. Sure, we don’t hear about that propeller that much in 2020, but this was an archetype for controlling boats. Back in his day, he was in the South, so you had all these steamboats around, but they didn’t have any control as they do now when it comes to aquatic transportation. These boats would ship medicine, food, clothes, and other important things. One wrong move, and people will lose major business at best…or die from sickness or famine at worst. Montgomery grew up as a slave, but he was able to make this propeller which causes the boats to actually steer and maneuver in different ways. However, when he made the propeller, it was around the time when black people legally couldn’t patent anything and white people would steal the patents and get all the credit.

This is part of American history, warts and all!

Montgomery’s captors and patent thieves were the Davis family which also involved Jefferson Davis. Yes, the same person who was the president of the freaking Confederacy tried to steal his invention! I’m sick of this thievery and this notion that black people can’t invent anything which sadly people still think about that fallacy even today. Show them this fact and call it a day.

The image of Benjamin Montgomery is from Black Inventor Online Museum.

Ospreyshire Origins: Boyd Bedsteads

Lyrics:

An unmarked grave is where my mortal frame rests, yet my inventions let people sleep in style
Wooden frames and canopies were built for luxury and durability where commoners can sleep like kings and queens even to this day
While Ohio and Kentucky weren’t always kind to me, I knew I had to have a twin set of endurance
My ethic, diligence, and carpentry had to see me through and spring into action
Brothers, sister, your freedom was paid for from my classy beds patent or not
They saw my name on every frame
I wish my company would’ve withstood the flames of envious arsonists
I would free those who were like me
My life has been used for the greater good
Let me rest


Here’s another case of a former slave doing for self. This is Henry Boyd. The Kentucky-born and later Ohio-based man would become a carpenter/furniture maker in his own right. He crafted some of the fanciest beds around that nowadays are worth a pretty penny in antique form. However, he deserved better. His businesses went ablaze by jealous racists. I would bet you those same people would be the ones to tell black people to pick themselves up by their bootstraps (how ironic and fallacious).

Here’s a fact about the acousmatics of this piece. I used a pair of drumsticks to hit different parts of my own bed and mattress to create the percussive soundscapes before multitracking them.

The photo of Henry Boyd is from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.

Ospreyshire Origins: T. Jennings: Cleaning Up the Patent Competition

Lyrics:

America, you needed to be cleaned up in so many ways
I was only one man, but I had to make things right on a twofold account
I started with your laundry
There would be a new kind of care for your clothes and I did it in a dry fashion like you’ve never seen before
Millions of businesses would be created because of me

Next came real freedom fighters
The bread I got from my invention
Went towards those who wanted every man, woman, and child
To be free and equal
Its more than what a piece of paper could say
I hope they keep on fighting

How does it feel seeing a man like me being the first of his community to own a patent?


Dry cleaning isn’t the most exciting thing to talk about which we can all agree on. What did get fascinating was who invented that form of laundry maintenance and how the funds were used afterwards. This is Thomas Jennings. He was a freeman who mainly worked as a tailor. He created a method called dry scouring which is the archetype for dry cleaning. He actually used the money to buy the freedom of other slaves in America which I massively respect on so many levels. Imagine how many businesses were and still are created today. Also, Thomas Jennings is the first African-American to receive a patent which is even more important in hindsight because he did this before it became illegal for black people to get patents (we’ll talk about that in other posts) before it was reinstated that anyone can make a patent regardless of ethnic stock.

Think about these things the next time you have to get your fancy suits or dresses to the dry cleaning shop.

The image of Thomas Jennings is from Post News Group.

Ospreyshire Origins: Onesimus the Unsung Hero

Lyrics:

Bodies kept dropping in Boston
In the century of their so-called Lord in the 18th century
While I wasn’t the same as the saint of the Byzantium,
We were both in bondage
My master begged me to save him and the city
With my memory from the motherland before I was chained
Once I was useful like my enforced foreign namesake, more kept breathing
All I want is credit and freedom, doctors
I don’t know about their originator, but I had stubbornness to accept the faith of those who captured me
Shame on me
Boston would’ve been a ghost town without my medical services


Happy New Year, everybody! This is the first new post of the new decade!

Anyways, let’s get to the subject at hand. This track is about the invention of medical inoculation. It was an invented by a slave named Onesimus who lived in Boston, MA hundreds of years ago. People were dying wholesale as smallpox ravaged this New England city. He managed to save thousands of lives with this medical technique that is still used to this day albeit modernized. It’s frustrating that this man never gets credit for his innovation in literally saving lives. One parallel that some Bible readers might notice would be the character of Philemon of the same name who was also a slave. I didn’t know about Onesimus until just a couple of years ago. He should be more renowned and I had to be the one to do it in spoken word form. https://face2faceafrica.com/article/this-slave-curbed-the-smallpox-epidemic-in-boston-in-1721-with-an-african-technique.

The image of Onesimus is from Face2Face Africa.

“Accept responsibility for what happened.” My thoughts on a D. L. Hughley video.

I haven’t paid attention to D. L. Hughley since The Hughleys show back in the day. I knew he did some TV work long after that, but I wasn’t familiar with his current show. He made commentary about a New Hampshire politician named Werner Horn who said that “Owning slaves doesn’t make you a racist.”

Let that sentence sink in. This wasn’t a politician from 1819, but from 2019. This Horn ignoramus doubles down by saying that race had nothing to do with slavery, but for business and taking care of one’s family. DO I EVEN NEED TO EXPLAIN HOW STUPID AND FALLACIOUS IT IS?

There are people who are defending the indefensible which greatly disturbs me. If it wasn’t about race, then why did they enslave other White people in America? No, the Transatlantic slave trade was a money maker for so many companies and everyone knows it. No, the White people who did work in the fields (mainly the Irish at the time) weren’t slaves, they were indentured servants which isn’t the same thing, so don’t bring up that false equivalency.

What disturbs me even more is that more people aren’t calling out that Werner Horn devil for his racist and denial-loaded comment. D. L. Hughley brings up great points about that issue in this video.

I had to get this off my chest after discovering this clip.

This video is used under fair use laws and is property of D. L. Hughley and TV One.