The African American pioneer inventor of the 1870’s, Garrett Morgan, was responsible for the life-saving inventions such as the traffic light and gas mask. During his entrepreneurship, Garrett just happened to have stumbled across some of his inventions. In this informational essay, we will learn about Garrett Morgan’s life and achievements . Garrett Morgan was born on March 4, 1877 in Paris, Kentucky. He was the son of Elizabeth and Sydney Morgan. He was also the 7th of 11 children (Rare Inventors). Garrett’s early life includes him having to quit school, like most African American kids during this time, to get a job to contribute to the household. When he was 19, Garrett moved to Cleveland, Ohio and worked as sewing machine repairman and a clothing manufacturer. Then, the next year, he had his first marriage with a woman named Madge Nelson that ended with divorce. In 1907, when Garrett was 30, he opened his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop. In the same year, he had a second marriage to Mary Anne Hassek, had 3 sons and expanded his business to tailoring where he made coats, suits, dresses and many others. Then, in 1910, while Garrett was experimenting with a liquid he used to clean his sewing machines, he created a black oil dye for hair, another one of his inventions (Garret Morgan Biography).
As I stated in my introduction, Garrett Morgan created the safety hood, an item similar to the gas mask. He was influenced to create and patent this invention when he heard about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911, that he believed could have resulted with fewer people killed with the use of his safety hood. Garrett also created the traffic signal. Though there had been several different models of signals to help guide traffic, Garrett Morgan patented his own version, because he was aware of the issue with accidents with automated vehicles at that time. Garrett also came up with the idea of flat-ironing and his own black hair dye,...
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