Little Known Facts in Black History: Black Inventors
Most people have heard about and use famous inventions, but may not know the African American inventors behind these devices. Sharing a list of products and people that make our lives easier, including the traffic light and the elevator. Here are a few snapshots to illustrate some of the many impressive accomplishments:
- Frederick M. Jones patented more than 60 inventions in his lifetime. While more than 40 of those patents were in the field of refrigeration, Jones is most famous for inventing an automatic refrigeration system for long haul trucks and railroad cars. He co-founded Thermo King.
- Charles Drew was a physician who developed ways to process and store blood plasma in "blood banks." He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African Americans would be segregated.
- Sarah Boone was a dressmaker who made her name by inventing the modern-day ironing board. With its approval in 1892, Boone became one of the first Black women to be awarded a patent.
- Garrett Morgan invented a life-saving device, mechanical traffic signals, and more. His safety hood saved the lives of countless firefighters and others. He was born in 1877 in Kentucky during the Reconstruction era.