Man invents wrench while imprisoned

Jack Johnson, a Galveston, Texas native, was well-known for breaking many rules.

In 1903, he was crowned colored heavy weight champion of the world. Soon after, Johnson beat Tommy Burns and became the first black to hold the world heavy weight title.

Breaking the color lines in boxing was not enough for Johnson. So, he decided to date a white woman named Lucille Cameron. He was arrested for escorting Cameron across the state line. This was in direct violation of the Mann Act, which prevented black men from traveling in public with white women.

Johnson and Cameron were later married and fled to Europe. When they returned to the states, Johnson was put in Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas.

While in prison, Johnson invented a tool that would help loosen and tighten things. This tool, which was patented in 1922, eventually would be called a wrench.


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