An internet giant has gotten behind an effort to educate the rest of us about who’s behind the invention of some of the things we use in our everyday lives.
It is at every major crossroad in the country, but who’s behind the common traffic signal?
“It was invented, actually patented in 1923 by Garrett Morgan,” said Tariq Muhammad Walker, the VP of BlackVoices.com.
Garrett Morgan was living in Cleveland at the time when he witnessed a traffic accident.
”..and he thought ‘Hey there has got to be a way for people to control the flow of traffic, persons, and carriages,” continued Walker.
So Morgan came up with the T-shaped non-electric, hand cranked traffic signal. It was the forerunner of today’s modern traffic light. It was also during the early 1900’s that a young inventor in Lynchburg, Virginia came up with the idea of a chair that folded.
“Nathaniel Alexander patented the design for a folding chair that is the precursor to many of the folding chairs we use now,” said Walker.
The first idea for a fitted sheet, which is used in homes and hotels around the world, came from an African-American woman in 1959. Her name was Bertha Berman.
The predecessor of the modern golf tee was patented by a dentist, George Grant. He was also one of the first blacks to graduate from Harvard.
“These are things that took time and energy for people to develop and some of those persons who developed these things were African-Americans,” concluded Walker.