Since Thomas Jennings, who is thought to be one of the first Black inventors to be granted a patent, developed a more effective dry cleaning procedure in 1820, African American inventions have played a significant role in influencing the modern world.
In this post, we’ll look at the top 10 clever innovations that African-American inventors are credited with creating.
1. The Artificial Heart Pacemaker Control Unit – Otis Boykin
The Artificial Heart Pacemaker Control Unit, developed by Otis Boykin, utilizes electrical impulses to keep the heartbeat regular.
There wouldn’t be an Artificial Heart Pacemaker Control Unit without his work.
2. Gas Mask – Garret Morgan
In 1912, Garret Morgan created the safety hood after becoming concerned about how many firemen died from smoke exposure while working. The hood, which was worn over the head, had tubes attached to wet sponges that served to filter smoke and supply fresh oxygen.
In 1916, when Morgan rushed to the scene of a tunnel explosion and utilized his invention to rescue the lives of trapped workers, this makeshift gas mask gained attention.
Orders started coming in from fire and police units across the country. The United States Army used Morgan’s Gas Mask when World War I broke out and toxic gases were being used, saving thousands of troops’ lives.
3. The Blood Bank – Charles Drew
Charles Drew, an African American surgeon, developed the first techniques for preserving blood plasma for transfusion and established the first significant blood bank in the United States.
Dr. Drew was appointed director of the blood bank for the National Research Council in 1941, collecting blood for the American army and navy and laying the foundation for the Red Cross blood banking and collection practices.
Since Dr. Drew pioneered the technique in the 1930s, the storage of blood in plasma has saved countless lives.
4. Carbon-filament Light Bulb – Lewis Latimer
When Thomas Edison first began working on a light bulb model, the paper filament (the tiny fiber that an electric current warms to produce light) would burn away after about 15 minutes, making the bulb unusable for practical purposes.
Lewis Latimer, one of the greatest black inventors was the inventor of the carbon filament light bulb, which increased longevity and reduced the cost of light bulb production.
Latimer’s invention made residential lighting more accessible to more people.
5. Shoe Lasting Machine – Jan Marzeliger
During the 1800s and 1900s, skilled craftsmen known as hand lasters held the shoe business hostage. An experienced hand laster could create roughly 50 pairs of shoes each day, and because the job required great skill, hand lasters received very high wages, making shoes a very expensive item to produce.
Suriname-born inventor Jan Marzeliger invented the shoe-lasting machine that lowered the cost and expanded the supply of shoes.
This shoe-lasting machine invented by Matzeliger greatly increased shoe output. More unskilled workers were hired as a result, and there was an increase in the availability of affordable, high-quality shoes for people all over the world.
Watch the video and please subscribe
6. Colour Monitors & other Computer Inventions – Mark Dean
Dean, co-invented the PC colour monitor and IBM’s first personal computer, which fundamentally changed how we all engage with the internet. And he also invented the technology that enables your computer to communicate with printers, keyboards, and mice.
Mark Dean presently holds more than 20 patents in total, including three of IBM’s original nine PC patents.
One of his most recent computer innovations was the development of the one gigahertz chip, which has one million transistors and almost infinite potential.
7. Train-to-station communication system – Granville T. Woods
Granville T. Woods was referred to by some as the “Black Edison,” as both men were great inventors in their eras. More than a dozen inventions by Granville T. Woods improved electric train cars, and he created several more to regulate the flow of electricity.
His most renowned creation was a method for alerting a train’s engineer of other trains’ proximity. This mechanism reduced train crashes and accidents.
8. The Super soaker – Lonnie Johnson
Before creating his most well-known innovation in 1982, Lonnie Johnson had a successful career as a scientist for the U.S Air Force and NASA. His handmade nozzle shot a spray of water across the room as he experimented at home with a heat pump that used water instead of Freon. The Super Soaker was invented by Johnson and his business partner Bruce D’Andrade in 1989. It went on to become the first high-performance, pressurized water gun in history. After their combined patent application was approved in 1991, the Super Soaker shot to the top of the toy sales rankings, with more than $200 million in sales.
It had over $1 billion in retail sales, according to Forbes’ 2017 report.
9. Potato Chips – George Crum
When Crum was employed as a cook at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1853, a customer complained that his order of french fries was excessively thick and undersalted. As a result of his agitation, Crum sliced the potatoes as thinly as possible and deep-fried them into crunchy, brown chips. Intending to teach the customer a hard lesson about complaining, he delivered the plate to the customer.
But, the customer enjoyed the crunchy chips, and soon the dish became one of the most well-liked items on the menu.
When Crum launched his restaurant in 1860, a dish of chips was placed on each table. Crum didn’t patent his creation or bag them nor start selling them in grocery stores, he is nonetheless credited with creating this crispy delight, and junk food aficionados everywhere owe him a debt of gratitude for that.
10. The Process Of Synthesis – Percy L. Julian
Percy L. Julian created this procedure. Julian’s Synthesis process was important for the medical sector since it allowed for the creation of chemicals that were rare in nature. The birth control pill and advancements in the manufacturing of cortisone were made possible by the chemist’s efforts. A documentary on Julian’s life called Forgotten Genius was produced by the PBS Nova series in 2007.