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Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr.: (1877-1963) African-American Inventor.

Garrett Augustus Morgan was born in 1877.  Morgan moved to Cleveland Ohio in 1895 and worked for a clothing manufacturer as a sewing machine repairman. During his employment as a repairman, he invented a belt fastener for the sewing machine.  In 1907, he opened his own sewing equipment and repair shop by which he expanded to a tailoring shop in 1909 and employed 32 employees.

Garrett Morgan is best known for his outstanding contributions to public safety. He invented the safety helmet and gas mask for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Second International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation in New York in 1914.

In 1920, Morgan also founded the Cleveland Call. In 1923, Morgan invented a traffic light with a third caution signal between stop and go. This invention was later sold to General Electric for $40,000.00. Morgan died on July 27, 1963 at the age of 86. 


Further Reading:

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Garrett A. Morgan

Mitchell C. Brown, The Faces of Science African Americans in the Sciences, Garrett Morgan

Garrett A. Morgan Association