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20 Famous Inventions By African Americans

The stop sign was invented by Garrett Augustus Morgan. See what other life changing innovations were created by African Americans!

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    Carter Godwin Woodson originated Negro History Week, which would later become Black History Month, in 1926. February was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in that month.

    Photo: Wikipedia/ Wikipedia

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    Potato Chips were invented by George Crum in August of 1853. He was trying to fix a complaining customer's order who said his fried potatoes were too thick. Crum ended up slicing the potatoes very thinly, and the customer loved them.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Charles Henry Turner, a zoologist and educator, was the first person to discover that insects can hear.

    Photo: Flickr Wikipedia

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    Robert L. Johnson founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) is the first African-American billionaire.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    John Love invented the pencil sharpener in 1897.

    Photo: Flickr

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    Thomas J. Martin patented the first fire extinguisher in 1872.

    Photo: Flickr

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    Dr. Charles Drew discovered techniques to store blood, and developed the first blood banks.

    Photo: Flickr Wikipedia

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    Lewis Howard Latimer drafted patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, while working at a patent law firm. He also patented an improved way to produce carbon filaments for light bulbs.

    Photo: Wikipedia Wikipedia

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    Madam C.J. Walker developed and marketed a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.

    Photo: Wikipedia

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    Garrett Augustus Morgan (1877-1963) invented, among many other things, a 3-way automatic stop sign, which he sold to General Electric. It was used in the U.S. until the 3-light traffic sign was developed.

    Photo: Wikipedia

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    In 1892, George T. Sampson invented a clothes dryer that used heat from a stove.

    Photo: About.com

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    Sarah Boone invented the ironing board on December 30, 1887.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The curtain rod was invented by S. R. Scratton on November 30, 1889.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    J. Ricks invented the horse shoe on March 30, 1885.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    The gas mask was invented by Garrett Morgan in October 1914.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    Henry T. Sampson patented the gamma-electric cell on July 6, 1971. Without this invention, we wouldn't have cell phones!

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    On December 10, 1878, the door knob was invented by O. Dorsey.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    In 1898, Lydia O. Newman developed a detachable hairbrush that could be taken apart for easy cleaning.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    An improved carbon filament light bulb was invented by Lewis Latimer in the 1880s, making them cheaper and more efficient. He was hired by Thomas Edison in 1890.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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    T. Grant invented golf tees on December 12, 1899.

    Photo: Shutterstock