Jack Johnson, ‘Monkey Wrenches’ and Historical Accuracy

www.snopes.com_2016-02-04_09-57-03Jack Johnson’s Monkey Wrench? : snopes.com – Copy the article link Send us your feedback We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication. Your Email Your Message Send Message Fact Check History Monkey Wrench Business The monkey wrench was not invented by heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. Dan Evon Dan Evon Dec 14, 2015 Share – Claim: The term “monkey wrench” was originally used to insult the tool’s African-American inventor Jack Johnson. MIXTURE WHAT’S TRUE: Boxer Jack Johnson patented a wrench in the 1920s. WHAT’S FALSE: Jack Johnson invented the tool and the term “monkey wrench” originated as a racial slur. Example: [Collected via Email, December 2015] Is is true that jack Johnson the heavyweight champion invented the wrench? jack johnson Origin:In mid-December 2015, the above-displayed meme, which claimed that the term “monkey wrench” was first used as a derogatory term concerning its African-American inventor Jack Johnson, started circulating around the internet. While the central theme of the above-displayed meme (that white people used the term “monkey wrench” to demean its inventor) is false, there is some truth to this rumor. Jack Johnson was the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion and he did patent a wrench in 1922. Johnson’s patent, however, did not mark the invention of the adjustable wrench nor the origin of the term “monkey wrench.” Johnson’s patent was merely an improvement on a previous design and had little bearing on the history of the tool, which can be traced back to the 1840s. In February 2005, the Jim Crow Museum published a brief history of the wrench in an attempt to answer a question about Jack Johnson and his 1922 patent:

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