Levitt Luzern Custer, the hits keep coming

QUESTION:  Who was granted Patent Number One by the U.S. Patent Office in 1790?
A)  Benjamin Franklin
B)  Samuel Hopkins
C)  Francis Hopkinson
D)  George Ross
ANSWER BELOW

Yesterday, we were describing an early and significant invention made and patented by Levitt Luzern Custer - the first of around twenty inventions for which he received patents in his lifetime. After introducing his "Custer Chair," which allowed disabled Americans (identified as invalids during his time) with the use of one arm to be able to get around, Custer continued to create. Next up was his "Custer Scooter," a zippy two-wheeled scooter that went as fast as sixty miles per hour. He received the interest of amusement park owners after the creation of the scooter, and made numerous different rides that would prove popular. Among them were the "Custer Car," a small four-wheeled car that could be placed on a track, giving kids the opportunity to learn how to drive at a young age. Or allow adults to drive on the open road, if they were silly!  (Check out the picture below)  "The Zoomer" was built for Cincinnati, Ohio's Coney Island amusement park. It was an airplane ride that included propellers worked by motors to simulate flight.  Even better, it suspended riders over the Ohio River as they went around it. Then there was the "Paddle About," which had a paddle wheel operated like a bicycle, by pedaling, one of which was reportedly owned by the singer Kate Smith. A lifelong friend of Orville Wright, he participated in the design of the instrument panel for one of his planes as well.

Innovative to the end, Custer passed away in 1962 at the age of 74.  He built a business for himself that must have also been a wonderland, with his indoor golf course and aquarium. Unfortunately, that business burned down three years after his death.  Most of his records were destroyed in that fire.

ANSWER:  B) Samuel Hopkins, for improvements in making pot ash (important for the creation of black powder)