HeardTell: The North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library

Where Research is a Delight!


Walter B. Gwyn was an Asheville attorney, real estate man and…


United States Patent No. 414,527, dated November 5,1889 appears to be…

…drum roll please…

a brush with a hook on it!!!

Toilet brush1

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best I suppose. He had some big local names willing

to sign on as supporters of the Toilet Article.

Gwyn's patent

He had some other ideas for various tools. Here is his “claw bar” from 1894

Claw bar

Charles E. Lyman was mostly known for his poetry. We have five of his books here in the NC Room.

In addition to waxing poetic he also applied his creativity to more practicle matters.

In 1917 he had an invention that became quite a success.

Lyman signal1

Asheville C-T Sept. 11,1923

Browsing old microfilm, I see many articles on pedestrian injuries and deaths. There was definitely a need for something to keep pedestrians safer.

Asheville’s Mayor Cathey even wrote to the New York Times to disabuse them of the idea that this traffic signal was invented by…gasp!…a Frenchman.

NYT Cathey

Posted by Lyme Kedic

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This entry was posted on January 9, 2016 by in Forgotten People, Local History, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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