Lyda Newman, born in Ohio circa 1885, was an African-American inventor and women's rights activist. A hairdresser by trade, she received a patent for an improved model of hairbrush in 1898. She also fought for women's right to vote, working with well-known women's suffrage activists. Newman lived much of her adult life in New York City.
Little is known about the life of Lyda D. Newman. According to official census records, she was born in Ohio around 1885. By the late 1890s, she was a New York City resident.
The records of government censuses of 1920 and 1925 confirm that Newman, then in her 30s, was living in an apartment building on Manhattan's West Side and was working as the hairdresser to a private family.