Being Black

Inventor of the Traffic Signal & Gas Mask

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  • Many Inventors are known for one main invention, but not Garret Morgan.
  • Garret Morgan was the inventor of the traffic light and gas masks.
  • Morgan was the son of former slaves and was born in Paris, Kentucky.
  • His curiosity and innovation led to many inventions we still use today.
  • Morgan witnessed a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage which lead Morgan to want to improve traffic safety.
  • Morgan was the first to apply for and acquire a patent for a traffic light. 
  • He was granted the patent on November 20,1923

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  • Morgan then made national news for using a gas mass that he created to rescue several men trapped during an explosion.
  • Morgan’s mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during WWI in 1921.

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