Black Lives Matter may not be on your timeline as often as back in June. It’s okay, CARBON’s here to give you some educational and positive BLM knowledge! Everyday things we use in our very own homes or everyday lives were co-invented or invented by a black person, but of course the only one’s we know about are Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo Da Vinci etc. So here’s what Black inventors histories are within our homes!
Boone invented the improved ironing board in the late 18thcentury! She was born a slave, her design morphing from 1892 into what we use as today’s modern ironing board, keeps her invention and history alive in every home.
Mary Van Brittan Brown
Brown co-invented the home security system in 1966. She created an early version for her very own home in Queens, New York. Her husband would be away a lot and it was a time of high rates of crime in her neighbourhood. Police being unreliable and unresponsive (shocker) – her invention helped put her mind at ease and eventually, ours too!
Morgan invented the three light traffic lights in 1923. With only elementary school education and being the son of a slave, Garrett came up with other inventions like an improved sewing machine and gas mask!
One of his most influential was the traffic lights, his success leading to be one of the first black people in Cleveland, Ohio, to own a car! He witnessed a severe car accident and decided to add the “yield” component to warn oncoming drivers of an impending stop. He took out a patent (authority to an inventor) and was granted it the following year – tell ‘em to bring me my money!
Frederick McKinley Jones
Jones invented Refrigerated trucks in 1940. McKinley took out over 60 patents in his life –WHAT!? One of which being for the roof-mounted cooling system in trucks during transportation of refrigerated goods.
He got the patent for that 1930 creation in 1940, leading up to his co-founding of the U.S Thermo Control Company (Thermo King). TCC was crucial during WW2, helping to preserve blood, food and supplies! I suppose Jones was crucial to the many families during this time without them even knowing it… interesting….
Miles invented automatic elevator doors in 1887. Before these doors, people had to manually shut the shaft and elevator doors – if you forgot? You’d probably fall down the shaft… Miles nearly had this accident, and so took out a patent in 1887 for a mechanism that automatically opens and closes elevator doors!
James E. West
West co-invented the Electret Microphone (with Gerhard Sessler) in 1964! More than 90% of microphones used today (like in phones and cameras), use a microphone co-invented by a black man!
West was tasked to create a more sensitive and compact microphone while working at Bell Labs in 1960. The final model was developed in 1964 and patented the landmark invention! Four years later, this microphone was then used in hearing aids, tape recorders, most telephones and baby monitors!
Latimer invented the Carbon lightbulb filament in 1881! The original light bulb was created by Thomas Edison. However, the longer-lasting light bulbs are down to Lewis! African-American and son of runaway slaves, he began work in patent law firm after serving the military during the Civil War.
Recognized for his talent drafting patents, he was promoted to head draftsman! He then co-invented an improved bathroom for railroad trains, and got more recognition from the U.S Electric Lighting Company – putting him in direct competition with Edison! In 1884 he went onto working with Edison at the ELC – happy days!
Dean co-invented the colour IBM PC monitor and gigahertz chip in 1980 & 99! PC s were limited to screens without colour and were attached to computers with limiting power process. Making up a team of 12 as a chief engineer for IBM, they developed the first IBM PC! Dean also worked to develop the colour monitor and led the team that developed the first gigahertz processor (gave PCs faster speeds for higher processing rates)!
To see what other Black inventors histories are within our homes! Check them out here !
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