What Would America Be Without Black People?

Garrett A Morgan

Born on March 4, 1877 in Kentucky

Died on July 27, 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio

In 1914, Garrett Morgan invented and received the patent on his invention of the gas mask. To get parties interested in the mask, he used a “white” actor to conduct presentations or would act as the “inventor’s” sidekick giving him the ability to answer questions the actor could not. His invention would later become the prototype of the gas masks worn by the United States government troops in World War II. In 1923, after witnessing an automobile accident, Morgan (again) quickly created a 3-way signal with an alert system for drivers to proceed with caution or come to a complete stop for the safe use of vehicle travel. The United States, Britain and Canada all implemented his traffic light, eventually; he sold the patent to General Electric for $40,000.

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