A Look Back in History: Inventor Virgie M. Ammons

Virgie M. Ammons was born on Dec. 29, 1908, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At a young age, her family relocated to West Virginia, where she spent the rest of her life. Ammons was a self-employed caretaker and a Muslim woman by faith, attending services in Temple Hills. She died on July 12, 2000, in Preston County, West Virginia.

Ammons invented the Fireplace Damper Actuating Tool, which allowed the chimney damper to be locked in the closed position. This prevents cold air and dust from blowing down the chimney and back into the house. She was granted a patent for her invention on Sept. 30, 1975.