Robert Pelham, US inventor

Robert Pelham, US inventor

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Credit: SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Pelham (1859-1943), US inventor. Pelham invented a device to automate clerical tasks such as gluing slips of paper together. He also patented a device used for tabulation (1905) and a tallying machine (1913). Pelham invented these devices while working for the US Census Department from 1900 onwards. He also studied for a law degree, which he received in 1904. Earlier in his career, he had worked as a journalist, and when he retired he became editor of a black newspaper called The Washington Tribune. He also created the Capital News Service, a news agency devoted to black issues. Photograph published circa 1913.

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