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  • Ali Assareh

Today in Legal History: Coconut Oil (July 27, in 1880)

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Today, July 27, in 1880, serial entrepreneur and prolific inventor Alexander Ashbourne received Patent No. 230,518 for a process for preparing coconut oil. His invention was monumental for large-scale and industrial use of coconut oil. Alexander had also invented and patented the biscuit cutter in 1875-6.


Alexander Ashbourne was born into slavery -- into a system where the U.S. federal government, many state governments, and many more "business owners" and plantation bosses bought, sold, and enslaved other human beings.


After the Civil War, Alexander moved to Oakland, California and ran a convenience store, where he came up with many of his ideas. He lived to be 95!


Today we thank Alexander Ashbourne and all those who came before us, and their heroic resolve and grace under the most insanely cruel and inhumane conditions. The least we can do to thank them is to keep fighting for justice. Let that shine in all of our actions today and moving forward.


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