By Genevieve Carlton | Checked By Erik Hawkins
Published November 9, 2021 / Updated November 10, 2021
Garrett Augustus Morgan didn’t get his due until after his death in 1963 — despite inventing the modern traffic light and an early version of the gas mask.
The life of a Black inventor in the Jim Crow era wasn’t easy, but Garrett Morgan shouldered past societal prejudices to pioneer inventions in the early 20th century, many of which we use to this day
We can thank Morgan for the creation of protective hoods used by firefighters and miners, gas masks used by U.S. soldiers, and traffic lights. Few were mindful enough to thank him at the time, though — in fact, he often lost white customers once they learned of his race.