Black Excellence and Inventions that Changed Lives

by Alyssa Sarmiento
Black Excellence and Inventions that Changed Lives

February, the month of love! It is also the month we get to celebrate Black Excellence. It shouldn’t have a month where it is celebrated, because it deserves to be celebrated regardless if it’s Black History Month or not. All negativity aside, let’s bask in that Lincoln Love and come celebrate more African American inventors with us.
We have been making daily posts of African American Inventors (one month is not enough to fit them all in!) We have more inventors to feature (and we are not even halfway through the list of amazing people!)

Black inventors have made a lasting impact on our world, and their contributions continue to shape the way we live and work. As we celebrate Black History Month, it's important to acknowledge and honor the pioneers who paved the way for future generations. Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of black individuals throughout history, including their inventions and innovations. Here are just a few of the many black inventors who have changed the world:

1. Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer was an engineer, inventor, and draftsman. He is known for his work on the development of the electric lamp and the carbon filament. This invention improved the efficiency of the light bulb and paved the way for widespread use of electric lighting. Thomas Edison is the more prominent name if one thinks of the light bulb, but the real backbone and the man who paved the way to the creation of the light bulb was through Lewis Latimer’s creation of the carbon filament.

2. Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught mathematician, astronomer, and inventor who is best known for creating a series of almanacs and a wooden clock. Born in Maryland in 1731, Banneker was the son of a former slave and an Englishwoman. Despite having no formal education, he became a leading expert in mathematics and astronomy and was appointed as a surveyor to help lay out the plans for Washington, D.C. His wooden clock, which he built in 1753, was one of the first in America to be powered by clockwork and strike the hours.

    3. Granville T. Woods

    Granville T. Woods was an inventor and electrical engineer who made significant contributions to the development of the electrical and transportation industries. He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1856 and held more than 50 patents, including one for the Multiplex Telegraph, a device that allowed multiple telegraph messages to be sent over a single wire. He also invented the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph, which improved communication between train conductors and dispatchers.

    4. Garret A. Morgan

    Garret A. Morgan was an inventor and businessman who is best known for inventing the traffic signal and the gas mask. Born in 1877 in Paris, Kentucky, Morgan had a natural talent for mechanics and engineering. He established the National Safety Device Company and patented the traffic signal in 1923, which greatly improved traffic safety and efficiency. In 1914, he also invented the gas mask, which was later used by soldiers during World War I to protect them from gas attacks.

    We previously featured Garret, (do you recall this post?) The wonderful thing about humans is their insatiable curiosity and want to be better. Garret, like many others, did not just create 1 invention, some created a LOT and he is no exception for the gas mask is also his handiwork.

    5. Jan Ernst Matzeliger

    Jan Ernst Matzeliger was a Dutch-American engineer and inventor. He is best known for inventing the shoe-lasting machine, which revolutionized the shoe-making industry. This invention increased productivity and reduced the cost of shoes, making them more accessible to the general public.

    The past plays a significant role in shaping the present and the future. The past provides us with a wealth of information and experience and inventions that we can use to guide us in the present and the future.

    In summary, while it is true that the past plays a significant role in shaping the future, it is important to be mindful of both the positive and negative aspects of the past and work towards creating a better future for all.

    by Alyssa Sarmiento