- NAME: John Lee Love
- OCCUPATION: Inventor
- BIRTH DATE: Unknown
- DEATH DATE: December 26, 1931
- Did You Know?: In 1897, John Lee Love received a patent for his portable pencil sharpener, dubbed the "Love Sharpener."
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Fall River, Massachusetts
- PLACE OF DEATH: North Carolina
- Full Name: John Lee Love
- AKA: John Love
- AKA: John L. Love
- AKA: J.L. Love
Best Known For
John Lee Love was an African-American inventor best known for patenting a portable pencil sharpener known as the "Love Sharpener."
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
John Lee Love was a carpenter in Fall River, Massachusetts, who invented several devices. In 1895, Lee patented a lightweight plasterer's hawk. In 1897, he patented a portable pencil sharpener known as the "Love Sharpener." Lee died in a car and train collision in North Carolina on December 26, 1931.
Little is known about the life of John Lee Love, the inventor of the portable pencil sharpener. Love worked as a carpenter in the community of Fall River, Massachusetts. He applied for a patent for a portable pencil sharpener in 1897. His application specified that his invention was an "improved device" that could double as a paperweight or ornament. The design was simple, including a hand crank and a compartment to capture the pencil shavings. It was known colloquially as the "Love Sharpener." The sharpener has been in continuous use since it was first produced.
While the pencil sharpener was Love's most successful invention, it was not his first. In 1895, he created and patented an improved plasterer's hawk, used by plasterers and masons. Love's design featured a detachable handle and a foldable aluminum board, making it portable and lightweight. Love hired lawyers from New York and Boston firms to represent him while applying for both of his patents.
Love died on December 26, 1931, in a collision between a car and a train in North Carolina.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: John Lee Love profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Explore Biography.com's collection of African-American firsts in science and medicine, including Patricia Bath, the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention; Daniel Hale Williams, the first person to successfully complete open heart surgery; Mary Mahoney, the first black woman to complete nurse's training; Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American to earn a doctorate from a U.S. university; and Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Science & Medicine 22 people in this group
Explore Biography.com's collection of African-American entrepreneurs and industry leaders, including Edward T. Lewis, Madam C.J. Walker, Elijah McCoy, Oprah Winfrey, Allen Allensworth, Tyra Banks and Wally Amos. View full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
African-American Firsts: Entrepreneurs 18 people in this group
Famous People Who Died in Accidents 103 people in this group