March 04, 2014

On this day March 4th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

March 4, 1877 Scientist Garrett A. Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky. Inventor of a belt fastener for sewing machines, the gas mask, and the automatic traffic signal, he sold rights to General Electric for $40,000.

With only an elementary school education, Garrett Morgan, began his career as a sewing-machine mechanic. He went on to patent several inventions, including an improved sewing machine and traffic signal, a hair-straightening product, and a respiratory device that would later provide the blueprint for WWI gas masks. The inventor transitioned on August 27, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Outside of his inventing career, Morgan diligently supported the African-American community throughout his lifetime. He was a member of the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was active in the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, donated to Negro colleges and opened an all-black country club. Additionally, in 1920, he launched the African-American newspaper the Cleveland Call (later named the Call and Post).

Morgan improved and saved countless lives worldwide, including those of firefighters, soldiers and vehicle operators, with his profound inventions. His work provided the blueprint for many important advancements that came later, and continues to inspire and serve as a basis for research conducted by modern-day inventors and engineers.

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