Andrew Jackson Beard was African American born a slave on a small farm plantation in Woodland, Alabama. A year after the 16th President of United States Abraham Lincoln emancipated all slaves, Mr. Beard married at the age 15 and became a farmer in Birmingham, Alabama. While working as a farmer in Birmingham, Beard developed a plow, and patent it in 1881. Beard sold the patent rights for $4,000 in 1884.

In 1887 Beard patent a second plow and sold that for $8,200.


Beard two invention earned him almost $10,000, and Beard began to invest in real estate.

While working in real estate Beard began to study and work on engines, and in 1892 Beard patent a rotary engine.

On day on a train Beard notice how unsafe it was for workers to move from train car to train car while in motion, so in 1897 Beard patent and improvement to railroad car coupler, commonly called the Jenny Coupler. Beard invention saved thousands of lives.


Beard received 50,000 for the patent rights to his coupler.

Beard died in 1921, he was 72 years old.


He was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio for his work on railroad coupler design.


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