Dr Muriel Petioni was known as the “mother of medicine” in Harlem. Born in 1914 in Trinidad she migrated to the US with her family. Her father worked hard to bring his family to the US, attended school, and became a doctor. She followed in his footsteps becoming a practicing physician for over 40 years with a degree from Howard University. She worked at various hospitals throughout the south before returning to NYC to start her own private practice which involved caring for poor and working class families in Harlem. She saw patients and made house calls, often addressing the entire person’s health, not just one ailment. She started the Friends of Harlem Hospital and helped to get 2 million dollars for it. She was on the board of the greater Harlem nursing home. She helped mentor others through the Dr Susan Smith McKenney Steward Medical Association. She was awarded by the Harlem Hospital Center, the NYC Coalition of 100 Black Women, CUNY, The Schomburg, and by her alma mater Howard. Dr Petioni passed away in 2011 at the age of 97.
Sources: NAACP, Harlem Cultural Archives, NY Amsterdam News
Check this out. Did you know there was a Black owned automobile manufacturing business? I didn’t! C.R. Patterson & Sons was founded by Charles Richard Patterson. Born in 1833 into slavery this brother escaped and made his way north to Ohio. There he began working as a blacksmith honing his skills to make horse carriages. In 1873 he linked with J.P. Lowe started a joint horse carriage business. In 1893 they parted ways and he renamed the company C.R. Patterson and Sons which he ran with his son Frederick (1 of 5 kids). They repaired carriages and cars at first then debuted their first car in 1913. Between the years of 1893 and 1939 they would make coupe’s, trucks, busses, and at one point had 28 types of horse carriages. C.R. passed away in 1910 his son Frederick kept the business going. They had several employees and a thriving business but could not compete with larger companies such as Ford, and once the depression hit they were one of many small companies to fold. Imagine what it would be like if they had the resources to continue?! Although there are no intact C.R. Patterson and Sons vehicles left they were pioneers from from Greenfield Ohio.
Sources: BlackPast.org, Wikipedia, The Big Car Channel
If you haven’t been keeping up with the pieces this year, here is the last one of Jerry Lawson