Alexander Miles

Inventor, Deceased Person

1838 –


Who is Alexander Miles?

Alexander Miles was an African-American inventor who was best known for being awarded a patent for an automatically opening and closing elevator door design in 1887. He was awarded the patent, U.S. Patent 371,207, on October 11, 1887.

Alexander Miles was born in Ohio, probably in Pickaway County near the town of Circleville, in 1838 the son of Michael and Mary Miles. Miles may have resided in the nearby town of Chillicothe, Ohio, but subsequently moved to Waukesha, Wisconsin where he earned a living as a barber. After a move to Winona, Minnesota, he met and married Mrs. Candace J. Dunlap, of La Porte, Indiana, a widow with two children who was four years his senior and a native of New York. Together they had a daughter, born in 1876, named Grace. Shortly after her birth, the family relocated to Duluth, Minnesota.

The family moved to Chicago, Illinois by 1889, where Miles was listed in the city directories as a laborer However, by 1900, he listed himself as an insurance agent. Around 1903, they moved again, to Seattle, Washington where he worked in a hotel as a barber.

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May 18, 1838

on July 23, 2013


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