May 24, 2024

Garrett Morgan, an African-American inventor, invented the first gas mask as well as the first traffic device with a warning position. Garrett Augustus Morgan was born on March 4, 1877 in Claysville, Kentucky, to former slaves Elizabeth Reed and Sydney Morgan. Garrett had only completed sixth grade when he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 16 in search of work. He hired a tutor and continued his education while in Cincinnati. In 1895, he moved to Cleveland and learned to repair sewing machines, which led him to learn how things work and paved the way for him to invent.

Garrett opened his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop in 1907.

Garrett was a founding member of the Cleveland Association of Colored Men in 1908.

In 1909, Garret and his wife opened a ladies clothing store.

Garrett began working on his own inventions in 1910.

Garrett’s breathing invention assisted him in rescuing workers trapped in a water intake tunnel beneath Lake Erie in 1916. A newspaper published an article about him. In 1912, this smoke hood was completed.

Garrett established the G.A. in 1913. Morgan Hair Refining Corporation He marketed his own patented hair strengthening cream, a hair straightening comb, and hair color.

Garrett applied for a patent for a traffic control device with a warning position in 1922. He sold his patent rights to General Electric for $40,000 in cash.

Garrett was the first African-American in Cleveland, Ohio, to own a car.

Garrett received the First Grand Prize Gold Medal at the Second International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety in New York City.

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