Garrett Morgan, an African American inventor and entrepreneur, made several notable achievements throughout his lifetime, including:
Traffic Signal: Morgan's most famous invention is the three-position traffic signal, patented in 1923. This device greatly improved road safety by introducing the concepts of stop, go, and caution signals. It was one of the earliest automatic traffic signals and significantly contributed to reducing accidents at intersections.
Safety Hood: In 1914, Morgan invented a safety hood, an early version of the gas mask, designed to protect individuals from inhaling smoke, gases, and other harmful substances. He famously used this device to rescue workers trapped in a tunnel explosion beneath Lake Erie.
Hair Straightening Solution: Morgan also developed and patented a hair straightening solution in 1913. This product, marketed under the name "G.A. Morgan's Hair Refining Cream," was a significant innovation in the beauty industry, particularly for African American women seeking to manage their hair texture.
Firefighter's Breathing Apparatus: Building upon his safety hood concept, Morgan further developed a breathing apparatus for firefighters, which provided them with a safe air supply in hazardous environments. This invention helped to improve the safety and effectiveness of firefighting operations.
Entrepreneurship: In addition to his inventions, Morgan was a successful entrepreneur. He founded the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company to manufacture and distribute his hair care products. Despite facing racial discrimination, he achieved success in business and made significant contributions to his community.
Garrett Morgan's achievements as an inventor and entrepreneur have had a lasting impact on public safety, transportation, and the beauty industry. His innovative spirit and determination serve as inspiration for future generations of inventors and entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.