Inspirational Quote of the Day: One from a Black Inventor

Besides inventing an effective gas mask, Morgan also invented the three light (red, yellow, green) traffic light to improve motorist safety.


Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. (March 4, 1877 – July 27, 1963) was an African-American inventor and community leader.[1] He was the subject of a newspaper feature in Cleveland, Ohio, for a heroic rescue in 1916 of workers trapped within a water intake tunnel, 50 ft (15 m) beneath Lake Erie.[2] He performed his rescue using a hood fashioned to protect his eyes from smoke and featuring a series of air tubes that hung near the ground to draw clean air beneath the rising smoke. This enabled Morgan to lengthen his ability to endure the inhospitable conditions of a smoke-filled room. Other inventions of Morgan’s include the development of a chemical for hair-straightening. Morgan is also credited as the first African American in Cleveland to own an automobile.[3]

Morgan was born in Claysville,[1] an African-American community outside of Paris, Kentucky,[4] to Sydney Morgan, a son and former slave of Confederate Colonel John H. Morgan (of Morgan’s Raiders fame),[1] and Elizabeth Reed, also a former slave[5] who was half Native American[3] and daughter of Rev. Garrett Reed.[1] He had at least one sibling, a brother Frank, who assisted in the 1916 Lake Erie tunnel rescue.[1]

11 thoughts on “Inspirational Quote of the Day: One from a Black Inventor

  1. The guy conformed to human standards of behavior…Right down to his haircut….
    This type is one in a million today…

  2. “Other inventions of Morgan’s include the development of a chemical for hair-straightening.”

    Years ago I was a shift supervisor in a factory that made personal care products. One of them was a hair-straightener for black people. It had so much sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in it that we called it “Afro Drano”.

  3. I really like your site a lot so please forgive me for being an insufferable pedant but this man dindu nuffin first .

    Traffic Signal
    Invented by Garrett A. Morgan in 1923?
    The first known traffic signal appeared in London in 1868 near the Houses of Parliament. Designed by JP Knight, it featured two semaphore arms and two gas lamps. The earliest electric traffic lights include Lester Wire’s two-color version set up in Salt Lake City circa 1912, James Hoge’s system (US patent #1,251,666) installed in Cleveland by the American Traffic Signal Company in 1914, and William Potts’ 4-way red-yellow-green lights introduced in Detroit beginning in 1920. New York City traffic towers began flashing three-color signals also in 1920.
    Garrett Morgan’s cross-shaped, crank-operated semaphore was not among the first half-hundred pate nted traffic signals, nor was it “automatic” as is sometimes claimed, nor did it play any part in the evolution of the modern traffic light. For details see Inventing History: Garrett Morgan and the Traffic Signal.

    Gas Mask
    Garrett Morgan in 1914?
    The invention of the gas mask predates Morgan’s breathing device by several decades. Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s, among many other inventors prior to World War I. See The Invention of the Gas Mask.

    Also, please see wikipedia re. ” The man behind this three-color traffic light was police officer William Potts of Detroit. He was concerned about how police officers at four different lights signals could not change their lights all at the same time. The answer was a third light that was coloured amber, which was the same color used on the railroad. ”

    With regard to more on the gas mask please note ; ” According to First Facts, it states that the “gas mask resembling the modern type was patented by Lewis Phectic Haslett of Louisville, Kentucky who received a patent on June 12, 1849.” [9] U.S. patent #6,529 issued to Haslett, described the first “Inhaler or Lung Protector” that filtered dust from the air.[10]

    Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s . ”

    Cheers ,

    Ivan Sirko

    • I’m certain there’s some exaggerations about his accomplishments because he’s black. In his defense, he did obtain patents and he did go into the mine wearing his device. So, in my book, he’s not a bad guy, but he’s not the shining example that the liberals would like us to believe. The quote from him is trivial but decent enough.

    • True dat homey. Also, by the looks of him, I would say that he was some cream in his coffee which accounts for his higher I.Q. and not complete ape-like features.

      • Yes….He appears to be a quadroon…..He looks like a terrific good guy….But a White man with Morgan’s admirable but mostly modest level of accomplishment would have been forgotten by the history books the moment he died….
        But let’s give Morgan credit…..How many with primary negro genetics ever amount to sh!t in ANY area of life?…. (besides running down a field or court like a monkey to a cheering screaming crowd of braindead white imbeciles)….
        It is safe to assume that an UNNAMED White man took this guy under his wing and mentored him into living and comporting himself in a WHITE MAN’S HUMAN level of existence….He left home at age 15…..(I would assume left the nigger race at age 15…FOR GOOD…)…

    • Good points Ivan…..When a negro concocts a slight variation on something he is now called the “inventor”….Thomas Edison had 400 engineers working in his laboratories….One of them was a negro named Lewis Latimer…I have seen it written in numerous places that the monkey was the TRUE inventor of the light bulb….For your edification….The helicopter was among the endless inventions by the brilliant negro race……..

      • The brilliant negro who invented the helicopter bore the traditional Bantu name of Igor Sikorsky (and he also built the first multi-engine aircraft with an enclosed cockpit).

  4. Great additional info by Ivan. As for Morgan, all find & good as well. He looks like he has some American Indian in his facial features vs. being all Afro.

    • The “American Indians” usually don’t have much IQ power beyond the negro race…Look how dumb mestizos who come from that stock usually are…
      BUT some of the American Indian tribes did seem to be descendents of ancient Europeans who were here thousands of years ago….

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