April 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Schooled by Annabella

"A white man invented those," Annabella said, pointing to the dining room lights.

"Electricy?" asked Ann. "That was Edison."

"Yeah," Annabella said, ready to get on with her point. "A white man invented those, but the Black man invented almost everything else. Like the traffic light. I'll be you didn't know that.

"I'm not Black. I'm Creole. My daughters are Black.

"I know a lot that my kids don't know. They went to Catholic school, but you learn some things in public school that you don't learn in Catholic School.

I searched for Black inventors on the innernets when Annabella left. She's right about a lot, of course. A guy named Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light. He also inveted the gas mask.

I learned more about Black inventors at and I've posted their top ten below. Go to their site for more photos and more information. Then you can be schooled, too.
mage Credit: New York Public Library.

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy (1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains.

Fast Fact: Other inventors tried to copy McCoy's oil-dripping cup. But none of the other cups worked as well as his, so customers started asking for "the real McCoy." That's where the expression comes from

Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer (1848–1928) invented an important part of the light bulb — the carbon filament.
Fast Fact: Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger

Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852–1889) invented a shoemaking machine that increased shoemaking speed by 900%!

Fast Fact: In 1992, the U.S. made a postage stamp in honor of Matzeliger.

 Granville T. Woods

Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) invented a train-to-station communication system.

Fast Fact: Woods left school at age 10 to work and support his family

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (1860–1943) developed peanut butter and 400 plant products!

Fast Fact: Carver was born a slave. He didn't go to college until he was 30.

Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) invented a hair-growing lotion.

Fast Fact: Walker grew up poor. But she became the first female African- American millionaire.

Garrett Morgan

Garrett Morgan (1877–1963) invented the gas mask.

Fast Fact: Morgan also invented the first traffic signal.

Otis Boykin

Otis Boykin (1920–1982) invented the electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker.

Fast Fact: Boykin invented 28 different electronic devices.

Dr. Patricia E. Bath

Dr. Patricia. E. Bath (1949–) invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people to see.

Fast Fact: Dr. Bath has been nominated to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson (1949–) invented the world-famous watergun, the Supersoaker.

Fast Fact: Johnson's company just came out with a new Nerf ball toy gun.

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