The end of February brings the end to African American history month. After attending an African American history event that included a contest to name the invention and the African American inventor, it was realized that we cannot go one day without being touched by inventions by African Americans. Think what the world would be like if African Americans had not invented these items that we just cannot live without.
Adhesives along with many other products were invented by George Washington Carver in the 1800’s. The Blood Bank was pioneered by Dr. Charles Richard Drew who discovered that blood plasma kept longer than whole blood. A Carbon Filament to improve the incandescent light bulb was invented by Lewis H. Latimer in 1871. The Dry Cleaning Process was invented by Thomas Jennings in 1820. Eye surgery that includes a laser for cataract surgery was improved by the Laserphaco Probe that was patented by Elizabeth Bath in 1988. The Folding Cabinet Bed that folds against the wall and turns into a writing cabinet was invented by Sarah Goode in 1885. The Gas Mask was invented by Garrett Morgan in 1914. Hair care products made with sulfur and petrolatum was invented by Sarah Breedlove McWilliams also known as Madam C. J. Walker in the early 1900’s.
IBM’s 1 Gigahertz chip for the IBM computer was invented by Mark Dean in 2002. The Jenny Coupler that revolutionized the train industry was invented by Andrew Beard in 1897. It allowed train cars to join by bumping into each other. The Key Chain was invented by F. J. Loudin in 1894. A Leak Stopper for Hoses was invented by Clatonia Dorticus in 1899. The Mailbox with the hinged door to drop letters in and protect them from theft and the weather was invented by Philip B. Downing in 1898. The Nursery Chair was invented by I.O. Carter in 1960. Open Heart Surgery was invented by Daniel Hale in 1893. The Potato Chip was invented by George Crum in 1853 in Sarasota Spring, New York. Quantum theory, Samuel Elmer Imes did fundamental research in quantum theory.
The Refrigerated Trucking System was invented by Fred Jones in 1939. The Steam Engine Lubricator was invented by Elijah McCoy in 1872. Known as the Real McCoy revolutionized transportation. The Traffic Light was invented by Garrett Morgan in 1923. An Undergarment with a pocket with a releasable, securable, disposable pad was invented by Tanya Allen in 1994. A Vacuum sugar evaporator was patented in 1864 by Norbert Rillieux to make the processing of sugar more efficient. A Wrench for automotive maintenance was invented by Jack Johnson, the boxing champion, in 1922. The X-Ray Spectrometer was invented by George Edward Alcorn, Jr. for space and aeronautics exploration in 1984. The Yarn Skein Holder was invented by Julia Terry Hammons in 1896. In the study of Zoology in 1925 Ernest Just pioneered research in parthenogenesis a form of asexual reproduction.
These are just some of the thousands of inventions that made life easier, people healthier and the world safer. There are still thousands of other inventions by African Americans that you may not have heard of such as the Ward-Off, a device used in retail theft prevention, by my uncle, Richard Ward in 1997. What would the world look like if these incredible African American citizens did not use their talents to enrich humanity?