African American men and women made notable advances in technology

Until the 1880s, only rich people could afford nice shoes. Made mainly by hand, the hardest part was attaching the sole to the upper shoe. Only a highly skilled worker could do it, making about 50 pairs a day. Jan Matzeliger, a young immigrant from South America with a talent for mechanics, designed a machine that did the job much faster. His invention could make up to 700 pairs of shoes a day. As a result, shoes cost a lot less. In 1991, Matzeliger was featured on a United States postage stamp.

“Never settle for less than your best,”