Patent No. 170,460.
The first biscuit cutters were invented by Alexander P. Ashbourne, a beloved Pennsylvania caterer and one of the early prolific Black inventors in the United States. While catering high-profile events for Philadelphia’s wealthiest families, Ashbourne noticed that the biscuits at these events were all shaped by hand, thus lacking any consistent shape or size. Ashbourne set out to develop a spring-loaded biscuit cutter (with specialized shapes and a board for easy loading) that would take over 10 years to earn its patent. He invented for much of his life, earning patents in coconut oil refining.