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A CLASS ACT - BLACK INVENTORS

There are countless inventions by African Americans and they cover everything from food processing to electrical technology. Their inventions served as foundations for numerous ideas that Black Inventors have made to the comfort and advancement of mankind.

   
1872 Elijah McCoy, was the inventor of a device that allowed machines to be lubricated while they were still in operation.
1881 Lewis Howard Latimer, a pioneer in the development of the electric light bulb, was the only Black member of Thomas A. Edison's research team of noted scientists.
1887 Granville T. Woods developed his most important invention  - a device he called Multiplex Railway Telegraph, it allowed for messages to be sent from moving trains and railway stations.
1896 George Washington Carver’s scientific discoveries included more than three hundred different products derived from the peanut, some one hundred from sweet potatoes, about seventy-five from pecans, and many more from Georgia clay.
1923 Garrett Augustus Morgan, is best known for his invention of the automatic traffic signal. He also is the inventor of the gas mask, used by firemen in the early 1900s and by soldiers in World War I.
1940 Dr. Charles Richard Drew was the first person to develop the blood bank. His introduction of a system for the storing of blood plasma revolutionized the medical profession.
   

TO LEARN MORE

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
African American Inventors
by Otha Richard Sullivan, James Haskins / Library Binding - 176 pages (1998) / John Wiley & Sons

For more than three centuries, African American inventors have been coming up with ingenious ideas. In fact, it is impossible to really know American history without also learning about the contributions of black discoverers.

Black Inventors
by Nathan Aaseng / Hardcover: 144 pages / Facts on File, Inc.(August 1997)
Ten short, well-written biographies tell the stories of black inventors whose contributions have often
been overlooked or unrecognized.

Black Pioneers of Science and Invention
by Louis Haber / Paperback - 264 pages Reprint edition (January 1992) / Harcourt Brace
Dr. Haber has lifted from obscurity 14 remarkably gifted black Americans who played crucial roles in this country's scientific and industrial progress. Includes photos and illustrations. 

Five Notable Inventors (Great Black Heroes)
by Wade Hudson, Ron Garnett (Illustrator) / Paperback:/ Cartwheel Books; ; (April 1995)
Follows five inventors: Elijah "the real" McCoy, machinery oiling equipment; Madame C.J. Walker, hair products for black women; Granville Woods, electrical signal system for trains; Garrett Morgan, gas masks and traffic signals; and Jan Matzeliger, shoe machinery.

The African-American Century : How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country
by Henry Louis, Jr. Gates, Cornel West / Paperback: 432 pages / Free Press (February 5, 2002)
When it began, only 35 years after the end of slavery, few could envision what the 20th century would hold for black Americans. F
ills the aching gaps in public awareness about African Americans and remind us that self-confidence, dignity, and excellence are the essential virtues in the great historical drama of American democracy.
The New York Public Library African American Desk Reference
by New York Public Library / Hardcover: 624 pages / Wiley; 1 edition (September 16, 1999)
This reference book is packed with tables, charts, timelines, and summaries devoted, in this case, to the African American experience. Chapters cover a variety of topics, including the saga of African American history, politics and civil rights, science and technology, the military and the media.


ON THE WEB:

African-American Inventors Railroad/Transportation Industry
An extensive list of black inventors contrubutions to the railroad industry. Prepared for African-American Railroader Month 2004 by Norfolk Southern Corporation.
(URL: www.nscorp.com/)

Black Inventor Online Museum
A look at the great and often unrecognized pioneers in the field of invention and innovation. Achievements by Black inventors can be seen as far back as ancient Africa but much of society has no idea that many of the products or devices that make their everyday lives more enjoyable are the result of the hard work and ingenuity of Blacks.Enjoy a walk through history and look at these unknown contributors to science and invention!

Scholastic Magazine Top Ten African-American Inventors
Throughout history, African Americans have invented some important and fun devices. Read about ten examples of men and women and see what they invented.Think about what kind of obstacles they may have faced, personally and professionally.
The Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences
Profiled here are African American men and women who have contributed to the advancement of science and engineering. The accomplishments of the past and present can serve as pathfinders to present and future engineers and scientists.
Honoring Black Inventors of the Past
Black minds have been inventors, engineers and master-builders since antiquity. We must maintain the time-honored tradition in preparation for the 21st century and beyond. Stories of seven black inventors presented by Byron L. Crudup, P.E.

 
   
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