Benjamin Bradley Bought His Own Freedom by Inventing a High Powered Steam Engine
Benjamin Bradley was an innovative inventor in the field of steam engines. Born into slavery in Maryland in the mid-19th century, he faced limited access to education but taught himself engineering. Despite being a slave and unable to legally patent his inventions, Bradley sold his high-powered steam engine. This earned enough money to buy his own freedom! The steam engine’s high power output and efficiency made it a popular choice for use in ships, locomotives, and other large machinery. Bradley did not stop there; he continued to improve upon his design and was eventually granted several patents for his work.
Inventor Garrett Morgan Created the Gas Mask and Traffic Signal
Garrett A. Morgan was an American inventor and businessman. He was born in Kentucky in 1877. Morgan is best known for inventing the gas mask and the traffic signal. After moving to Cleveland in 1895, he started his own sewing machine repair business. He eventually expanded his business to include a tailoring shop. In 1914, he patented the gas mask, which was used by firefighters and later by soldiers in World War I. The gas mask became his most famous invention and brought him great financial success. In 1923, Morgan patented a traffic signal that was similar to the modern-day stoplight. He sold the rights to the traffic signal to the General Electric Company for $40,000. (Which is more like $706,659.52 after modern inflation!) However, despite making a lot of money off of his inventions, we never hear about him in history class.
Richard Spikes revolutionized the field of transportation with several important innovations. He gained recognition as one of the most influential African American inventors of his time. Spikes’ most notable contribution was the self-starter for automobiles, which replaced the dangerous and cumbersome task of manual starting. This invention greatly popularized the use of cars and made them easier and safer to operate. Not only did Spikes excel as an inventor, but he also showcased his entrepreneurial skills by participating in the establishment of companies that produced and sold his inventions. Because of him, all we have to do is turn a key to get our cars started.
Inventor Mary Van Brittan Brown Patented the Home Security System
Mary Van Brittan Brown, born in 1922, invented a home security system and patented it in 1966. Concerned with the high crime rate in her apartment building, Brown designed a system that included a closed-circuit television that residents could monitor from inside their homes. She also invented a remote-controlled door-locking mechanism. Brown’s invention was a groundbreaking contribution to the field of home security and paved the way for more advanced systems, yet she received little recognition or compensation for her work during her lifetime.
Doctor Charles Drew Is Responsible For The Creation of Blood Banks
Dr. Charles Richard Drew revolutionized modern medicine by pioneering the field of blood transfusions. Born in 1904 in Washington, D.C., he rose to prominence as the first African American to be appointed as an examiner in surgery by the National Board of Medical Examiners. During World War II, he directed the Blood for Britain project, collecting and storing blood from donors to save the lives of injured soldiers. Drew’s work resulted in the creation of blood banks, saving countless lives and leaving a lasting impact on the medical world. Despite facing discrimination, he remained dedicated to his work and is remembered as a hero.
Inventor Sarah Boone Made The Ironing Board What It Is Today
Sarah Boone revolutionized the world of ironing with her innovative design. Born in 1832, she is famous for inventing an improved ironing board which she patented in 1892. Unlike previous models, Boone’s ironing board was curved to conform to the user’s body. This made the task of ironing more comfortable. Additionally, the design provided better access to the clothing being ironed. This improvement marked a turning point in the world of ironing and made the task easier and more manageable. Despite her important contribution, she did not receive the recognition or compensation she deserved during her lifetime.
Entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker Invented Hair Products For Black Women
Madam C. J. Walker was an African American entrepreneur and philanthropist who was born in 1867. She was the first woman to become a self-made millionaire. Walker made her fortune through the development and marketing of hair care products for African American women. She started her business in the early 1900s, selling her products door-to-door and giving demonstrations to women in their homes. Over time, her business grew, and she eventually established a national network of sales agents. She also opened beauty schools to train women in hair care and beauty techniques. In addition to her business success, Walker was known for her philanthropy, donating to various organizations and causes, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the YMCA. In 2020, a TV show called Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker became a Netflix Original Series.
Inventor Jan Ernst Matzeliger Revolutionized the Shoe Making Industry
Jan Ernst Matzeliger was an African American inventor who was born in 1852. He went on to become one of the most important African American inventors of his time. Matzeliger is best known for his invention of the shoe lasting machine. (Not to be confused with shoe lacing.) This revolutionized the shoe-making industry. Before Matzeliger’s invention, shoes were made by hand, and the process was time-consuming and labor-intensive. Matzeliger’s machine automated the process of lasting shoes. This is the process of shaping the upper part of a shoe around the last, or mold, to give the shoe its final shape. His invention made it possible to produce shoes much more quickly and efficiently. This helped to bring down the cost of shoes, making them more accessible to people.
Engineer Lewis Latimer Improved on the Incandescent Light Bulb
Lewis Howard Latimer, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848, was an accomplished African American inventor and engineer. He made significant contributions to the development of the electric lamp and the electric power industry. Latimer began his career as an office boy at Alexander Graham Bell’s patent law firm, and later worked for the company that became General Electric. He received patents for his inventions, including a process to manufacture carbon filaments for incandescent light bulbs, making them longer-lasting and more reliable. Latimer also wrote several books, including a handbook for electric lighting. By inventing a method of manufacturing carbon filaments for use in incandescent light bulbs, Latimer made the bulbs more reliable and long-lasting. He also wrote several books, including a handbook for electric lighting. Latimer’s work played a significant role in establishing the widespread use of electric lighting and power.
Inventor Mary Kenner Created Feminine Products For Women
Mary Kenner was an African American inventor who is best known for her invention of the “sanitary belt” or “sanitary napkin” holder in the late 1950s. This invention was designed to provide a more convenient and discreet way for women to manage their menstrual periods. Kenner received a patent for her design in 1957. Despite the usefulness of her invention, Kenner faced significant challenges in commercializing and promoting her product, due in part to the stigma surrounding menstruation at the time. Nevertheless, she is remembered today as a pioneering inventor who made a significant contribution to women’s health and comfort.
A man named Thomas L. Jennings was an African American inventor, abolitionist, and businessman who was born in New York City in 1791. Jennings is best known for his invention of a process for dry cleaning clothes, which he patented in 1821. Jennings’s invention was revolutionary because it provided a more efficient way to clean clothes. This was especially important in an era when most people had few items of clothing and took great care to keep them clean. His invention was widely adopted, and he became one of the first African American millionaires in the United States. In addition to his contributions as an inventor, Jennings was also a prominent abolitionist and was actively involved in the Underground Railroad.
George Crum was an African American chef who was born in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1824. Crum is best known for his invention of the potato chip. The story goes that one day, a customer at the restaurant where Crum was working complained that the french fries were too thick. In response, Crum sliced the potatoes as thin as he could, fried them, and served them to the customer. To his surprise, the customer loved the new dish and soon other customers began ordering it as well. The thin, crispy potato slices became known as “Saratoga Chips” and eventually evolved into the potato chips we know today. George Crum’s invention of the potato chip has had a lasting impact on the world, and he is remembered as a pioneering figure in the field of cuisine.
Elijah McCoy, a Canadian-American inventor and engineer, revolutionized the field of lubrication engineering with over 50 patented inventions. Born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada to former slaves, he made significant contributions to the development of improved lubrication systems for steam engines. His most renowned invention was the self-lubricating cup that kept steam engines running smoothly without frequent stops for lubrication. The phrase “the real McCoy” embodies the genuine and authentic quality of his inventions, and still signifies high standards today.
Food Scientist George Washington Carver Revolutionized the Peanut Industry
George Washington Carver, born into slavery in Missouri in the 1860s, revolutionized agriculture as a prominent African American scientist, inventor, and educator. He discovered new uses for crops such as peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, earning recognition as one of the most important agricultural scientists of his time. Carver held several patents, including a method for producing synthetic rubber from peanuts, and was a pioneering figure in the fields of agriculture and science. Despite the widespread belief, Carver did not invent peanut butter. But without his contributions to the food industry, it may not exist today. George Washington Carver remains an important figure in the history of African American inventors and educators.
Electrical Engineer Granville Woods Had Over 50 Patents
Granville T. Woods was an African American inventor and electrical engineer who is often referred to as the “Black Edison.”. He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1856. Woods held more than 50 patents for his inventions, many of which were related to electric and communication technologies. Some of his most significant contributions include the multiplex telegraph, an early version of the telephone, and an improved version of an electric railway. Woods revolutionized modern communication and transportation systems through his innovations and became one of the most significant African American inventors of his time. His inventions transformed the way people lived and worked, gaining widespread adoption by businesses and individuals. As an entrepreneur, he played a role in developing companies that manufactured and sold his inventions.
Engineer Otis Boykin Invented Several Different Important Electronic Components
Otis Boykin was an African American inventor and engineer who was born in 1920 in Dallas, Texas. His contributions to the development of electronic components, especially those used in computer technology and control systems, earned him wide recognition. Boykin held several patents for his inventions. He perfected a technique for manufacturing electrical resistors, which regulate the flow of electrical current in electronic devices. In addition to his work as an inventor, Boykin was also an entrepreneur and was involved in the development of several electronic companies. He was a pioneer in the field of electronic component manufacturing and his work helped lay the foundation for the modern electronics industry.
Computer Engineer Mark Dean Invented Parts of IBM’s PC
Mark Dean is an African American computer engineer who was born in Tennessee in 1957. As a key player at IBM, he significantly contributed to the development of many of the company’s early personal computers and earned widespread recognition for it. Dean was responsible for designing several critical components of these systems, including the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus. This is a standard interface that connects peripheral devices, such as printers and sound cards, to a computer’s motherboard. In recognition of his contributions to the field of computer engineering, Mark Dean has received numerous awards and honors. Every time you use your computer, you should thank Mark Dean, because his contributions to the field of computer engineering have had a profound impact on the way that people use computers.
Auditory Physicist- “Acoustician” James E. West Helped Develop the Electret Microphone
James E. West is an American acoustician who was born in Virginia in 1931. He is best known for the development of the electret microphone. A variety of electronic devices, such as telephones, hearing aids, and microphones for musical instruments, widely use it now. West joined Bell Labs in 1962, where he conducted research on the development of improved microphones. Together with his colleague Gerhard Sessler, they developed the electret microphone. This uses a permanent electric charge to generate a signal, rather than relying on a power source. It allowed them to make it smaller, more reliable, and less expensive to produce than other types of microphones.
Mathematical Physicist Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Contributed to The Manhattan Project
Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. was an American mathematical physicist and engineer. He was born in 1923, in Wisconsin. Throughout his career, Wilkins made important contributions to the fields of nuclear physics and engineering. He worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bombs, and later helped develop the first nuclear power plants. He was also a pioneer in the use of computers for scientific research. Wilkins helped develop the first computer simulations of physical systems. In recognition of his contributions to science and technology, Wilkins received numerous awards and honors. However, because of his inventions, many people have died.
Inventor Frederick McKinley Jones Created Refrigeration Systems For Trucks
Frederick McKinley Jones was an African American inventor born in 1893. His work in the field of refrigeration and over 60 patents for his inventions have earned him recognition and fame. This includes the first automatic refrigeration system for trucks and trailers. Jones’s innovations revolutionized the transportation of perishable goods, such as food and medicine. This helped make long-distance transportation of these items much more efficient and reliable. In addition to his work as an inventor, Jones was also an entrepreneur and founded the Thermo King Corporation, which manufactured and sold his refrigeration systems. He was a pioneer in the field of refrigeration and his work helped lay the foundation for the modern transportation industry.
Entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode Invented the Cabinet Bed
Sarah E. Goode was an African American inventor and businesswoman who was born into slavery in 1855. She went on to become the first African American woman to receive a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Goode’s invention of the folding cabinet bed, designed to save space in small apartments, has earned her recognition and fame. Her invention was innovative because it combined a bed and a desk or cabinet in one piece of furniture, allowing people to make the most of their limited living space. During the day, the bed folded up into a cabinet, freeing up space for other activities, and easily pulled down into a bed at night. Goode’s invention helped to meet the needs of people in growing cities who were looking to make the most of their limited living space.
Chemical Engineer Norbert Rillieux Revolutionized the Sugar Refining Industry
Norbert Rillieux was an African American inventor and engineer who lived in the 19th century. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1806. Rillieux revolutionized the sugar refining industry with his invention of a multiple-effect evaporator and has gained recognition for it. Before Rillieux’s invention, sugar refining was a difficult and time-consuming process that required a large amount of fuel and manpower. Rillieux’s multiple-effect evaporator made the process much more efficient by using a series of evaporators. The sugar syrup vaporized and condensed by setting each at a lower pressure than the preceding one. In the end, the result was a much purer form of sugar.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Performed the First Successful Open-Heart Surgery
Daniel Hale Williams wasn’t exactly an “inventor”, but his work opened the door to life-saving surgical practices. Doctor Hale was an African American physician and surgeon who lived from 1856 to 1931. He was one of the pioneers of modern heart surgery and was one of the first physicians to perform a successful open-heart surgery. Williams grew up during a time when African Americans faced significant barriers to opportunities in the medical profession. Despite these obstacles, he went on to earn a medical degree. In 1893, Williams performed one of the first successful open-heart surgeries in history. He successfully repaired a knife wound to the heart of a patient. This paved the way for the development of modern heart surgery. He also founded Provident Hospital and Training School in Chicago, one of the first African American-owned hospitals in the country.
Alexander Miles Invented The Automatic Elevator Door
A man named Alexander Miles was an African American inventor who lived from 1838 to 1918. Miles revolutionized the elevator industry with his invention of the automatic elevator door, making elevators safer and more convenient for use. Before his groundbreaking invention, elevators operated manually. Passengers often had to close and open the doors themselves. Miles’ automatic door design used a sensor system to automatically open and close the doors, making elevators much safer and more efficient. The automatic elevator door quickly became an industry standard, and Miles’ invention had a significant impact on the growth and development of the modern elevator industry.
Engineer Lonnie G. Johnson Invented the Super Soaker
Lonnie G. Johnson is an American inventor and engineer who was born in Alabama in 1949. His invention of the Super Soaker, a high-powered water gun, has made him famous worldwide. Johnson has worked as an engineer and inventor for several government and private organizations, including the U.S. Air Force, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Energy Research Corporation. In addition to the Super Soaker, Johnson has also patented several other inventions in the fields of energy and thermodynamics. He created a high-efficiency heat pump and a high-efficiency water heater. Numerous awards and honors have recognized Lonnie Johnson’s contributions to science and technology. Because of him, your kids will get each other soaking wet every summer.
Computer Engineer Philip Emeagwali’s Inventions Contributed to the Development of the Supercomputer
Philip Emeagwali is a Nigerian-American computer scientist and mathematician born in 1954, in Akure, Nigeria. His pioneering work in high-performance computing has earned him recognition and fame. This helped to advance the study of petroleum reservoirs and climate modeling. In 1989, he won the Gordon Bell Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in high-performance computing, for his contribution to the use of supercomputers. Emeagwali not only excels in high-performance computing, but also champions science education and the application of technology to enhance the lives of Africans through advocacy.He is a strong supporter of the “brain gain” movement, which seeks to attract highly educated professionals from the African diaspora back to Africa to help drive development on the continent.
Computer Engineer Marian R. Croak Developed VoIP Technology
In more recent history, Marian R. Croak is an American computer scientist and engineer. She is a Vice President and Technical Fellow at Google. Prior to joining Google, she worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories for over 20 years, where she made significant contributions to the development of the internet. Croak earned notoriety for developing Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, enabling voice communication via the internet. Over 150 patents recognized her groundbreaking work and established her as a pioneer in the development of the internet. Besides her technical innovations, Croak is famous for championing diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Because of her, we are now able to have Zoom meetings at home.
Chemist Percy Lavon Julian Invented Several Medical Applications With His Research
Percy Lavon Julian, a pioneering African American chemist, was born in 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama. He broke barriers as the first African American to earn a PhD in Chemistry from an American university. Focused on plant-based chemistry, Julian achieved great success in isolating and synthesizing compounds from plants, such as hormones and steroids. He utilized his research to found several companies that manufactured and sold these compounds for medical and industrial use. Despite facing significant challenges and discrimination, Julian remained dedicated to his work and left a lasting impact on the field of chemistry and the African American community.
Shirley Jackson made history as the first African American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT. Her groundbreaking telecommunications research led to the development of several important products, including the touch-tone phone, portable fax, fiber optic cables, and caller ID. Not many people use landlines anymore. But for those of us who remember the invention of caller ID, that was truly revolutionary. You could finally see who was calling, and choose to ignore them if you like. Without her, phones may have never advanced to what they are today. Recognized for her exceptional achievements, President Barack Obama appointed her as co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory in 2014.
Lisa Gelobter Invented the Technology to Make GIFs Possible
Lisa Gelobter actively leads a long and successful career in the tech industry, because of her innovations. She is known for her role in the development of various digital media and entertainment technologies. Gelobter has held crucial positions at numerous prominent tech companies such as Shockwave.com, BET, and Hulu, and has also served as a trusted advisor and mentor for many tech startups. In addition to her achievements in technology, Gelobter strongly advocates for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and actively works to enhance the representation of women and underrepresented minorities. Every time you text someone a GIF, you should thank Lisa Gelobter. Because without her, the technology would have never been invented.
Dr. Patricia E. Bath Invented the Laserphaco Probe to Treat Cataracts
As a pioneering African American ophthalmologist and inventor, Dr. Patricia E. Bath made significant contributions to the field of medicine. Born in 1942, she became the first African American woman to complete a residency in ophthalmology. She was also the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. With her innovative spirit, she invented the Laserphaco Probe. This revolutionized the field of cataract surgery. Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Bath passionately dedicated herself to increasing access to quality eye care for all. (Particularly those in underserved communities.) She received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to the field of ophthalmology. Sadly, she passed away in 2019. But her legacy continues to inspire future generations of medical professionals and inventors.