John P. Parker played a prominent role in the Underground Railroad network that operated in southwest Ohio. Additionally, Parker held three known patents and displayed his products at regional/national industrial expositions. Parker’s engineering skills and business acumen, however, have largely been overlooked. A coalition comprised of faculty and students from the University of Cincinnati, members of the John P. Parker Historical Society, and corporate donors formed in 2006 to preserve the industrial legacy of this African American entrepreneur. This project demonstrates some of the benefits and pitfalls of such complicated undertakings.

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