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Garrett Morgan: Learn About The Product He Created That Financed His Traffic Light and Gas Mask Inventions

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Garrett Morgan (1877-1963) was a prolific inventor and businessman. His inventions of the gas mask and traffic signal are still having an impact even today. The invention that led the way and financed these inventions was hair straightening cream accidentally invented by Morgan. His hair straightening cream made hair less curly and easier to straighten. His accidental discovery of a chemical straightening cream occurred when Morgan observed fabric straightened by a liquid compound. He turned the liquid into cream and launched the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company. Morgan also invented a black oil hair dye and a curved tooth comb hair straightener in 1910. His inventions were wildly successful and he used the proceeds to finance his other projects including the gas mask, traffic signal, and a self-extinguishing cigarette.

Born in 1877, Morgan only completed elementary school education. He was the 7th of 11 children. Morgan moved to Cleveland Ohio as a teenager to look for work. He began his career as a mechanic; working on sewing machines. He would later patent an improved version of a sewing machine and opened his own repair shop. His sewing machine repair business was successful. During this time he also married a Bavarian woman, Mary Anne Hasssek. The couple had 3 sons.

It was his patented sewing machine that unexpectedly led to the invention of his hair refining cream. In 1909, he was working on a sewing machine and working with wool fabric, he experimented a chemical solution applied to his sewing needles to reduce friction and prevent scorching of the fabrics by the needle. Morgan noticed that the solution had a smoothing effect on the fabrics. He tested the solution out on a dog and then tried it on himself. He then launched the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company. He sold the straightening cream to black customers and used the proceeds to finance other inventions.

In 1914 was when Morgan patented the “safety hood” (gas mask) which facilitated safe breathing. He worked diligently to market the device; even hiring a white man to act as the inventor; after he realized that people weren’t buying his invention because he was black. Morgan would later go on to invent the traffic signal in 1923. He later sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000. He began developing glaucoma in 1943; losing most of his vision as a result. Morgan died in 1963.

Sources:

https://www.biography.com/people/garrett-morgan-9414691

http://www.ric.edu/faculty/rpotter/morgan.html

http://brownsugarbeauti.com/?p=515

Thomas W. Stewart: African American Inventor

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Station and Street  Indicator

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Thomas W. Stewart (1823 – ) was born in Kalamazoo, MI.  He is perhaps, best known for making design improvements to the mop.  In 1893, Stewart invented a new mop that had a clamp and springs which allowed the user to press a lever that would wring out the excess water in the mop.  He also designed the mop head to be detachable, making it easier to clean and replace.

Stewart also received a patent in 1883 for a station and street indicator.  Prior to his invention, there were only street signs that were used to provide warnings at train crossings.  Stewart’s invention worked by activating a lever that was built into the train tracks that indicated a train was coming.

Stewart also invented a metal binding machine in 1893.  The machine also had the capability of oscillating; making the process of bending steel safer and more efficient.

Sources:

https://www.reference.com/art-literature/thomas-w-stewart-s-biography-57b7f90167030510

https://www.thoughtco.com/thomas-stewart-the-mop-4077038

http://blackinventor.com/thomas-stewart/

Matthew Cherry – Black Inventor

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ma cherry

Inventor Matthew Cherry is known for his patent and invention of the velocipede (forerunner to todays tricycle and bicycle) in 1886 and a street car fender in 1888. Little is known about the life of this inventor.

Jeffrey Nash: Inventor of The Juppy Baby Walker

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  juppy baby walker

African American inventor, Jeffrey Nash was inspired to invent the Juppy Baby Walker at the age of 56.  Nash had a long career in sales of various products. A gifted salesman, he made millions for his employers and in doing so, always thought about how he could also achieve greater independence and financial freedom for himself.

Nash’s opportunity came in 2008.  While at his granddaughters soccer game, he saw a woman teaching her child how to walk.  In particular, he noticed that the young mother was hunched over and seemed to be uncomfortable.  He also noticed that in trying to help the child walk; the mother was pulling on the child’s arms which could have resulted in injury to the child.  These observations served as a catalyst for the invention of the Juppy Baby Walker.  Upon returning home to Las Vegas after the soccer game, Nash immediately began to work on developing a prototype design of what would become, the Juppy Baby Walker. After 4 attempts, Nash completed the final product design.

 

At same time, he was launching his new product, the economy was also doing very poorly.  Nash was notified by his employer that his pay was being cut, due to the economic downturn.  He took this as a sign that it was time for him launch his own business and that’s exactly what he did.  He began testing his new invention on the children of customers in the retail store where he was working.  Based on their feedback he further refined the product design.  He then hired a patent attorney and secured a manufacturing company to begin production.  Nash took 3 weeks off from work and began marketing the product in Nevada and California.  After 3 weeks, he had sold $12,000 worth of product. Encouraged by the positive response, Nash emptied his 401k, sold his home and car in order to invest in his business.  He has since become a successful entrepreneur.  Nash received his patent for the Jumpy Baby Walker in 2015.   He is still working hard to grow the business.  His product is currently available at major retailers such as Walmart, Sears, and Amazon, etc.

Check out his website for more info:  https://www.thejuppy.com/

Another interesting fact about Jeffrey Nash is that his daughter is married to actor Forrest Whittaker.  In launching his company he has not sought endorsement or financial investment in the product from the couple.  He feels the product is strong enough to be successful without celebrity endorsement.

Keisha whittaker
Keisha Whitaker & Forest Whitaker

Sources:

https://www.thejuppy.com/

http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/29/smallbusiness/baby-walker/index.htm

 

 

 

Kenneth Dunkley: African American Inventor Who Gave Us 3D Glasses

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African American Inventor Kenneth Dunkley (1939- ) created 3D glasses in 1986.


Sources: 

http://fenomlife.com/black-history-month-inventor-kenneth-j-dunkley-3-d-viewing-glasses-holography/

http://www.black-inventor.com/Kenneth-Dunkley.asp



Madame C. J. Walker Quote

Black History:  Special Delivery!!



“I got myself a start by giving myself a start.” 

-Madame C.J. Walker

Christina Jenkins: Inventor of The “Sew In” Hair Weave

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 christina-jenkins

 Christina Jenkins is credited with inventing the sew in hair weave technique. The process of adding in hair extensions was centuries old.  Jenkins improved on these techniques by creating a process of sewing in hair extensions rather than pinning them to the scalp.  While employed by a wig maker in 1949, Jenkins became aware that customers often complained that their wigs would fall off their heads frequently.  She began to explores ways to rectify this concern.  Jenkins sew in technique was considered revolutionary when it was first introduced.  She obtained a patent in 1951 for the process. Her technique was extremely popular with clients and cosmetologists.  Jenkins traveled the world sharing her technique.  The technique she used was a very lengthy process.

Jenkins opened the “Hairweev Academy” to train licensed cosmetologists. People came from all over the country to be trained in the technique. She offered the cosmetologists that she trained franchising opportunities to use the technique.   However, many students did not fulfil the financial obligations of the franchise agreement.  As a result, Jenkins quickly lost control of her invention and personal finances began to suffer.  She attempted to take legal action against these individuals.  However, Jenkins lacked the finances she needed to do so and was unable to continue running the business.

The sale of hair extensions is currently a billion dollar industry. There are many different hairweaving techniques today.  Her invention was a game changer for the hair industry.  Christina Jenkins died in 2003.

Thank Dr. Clarence Ellis When You Click An Icon On Your Computer!

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Dr. Clarence “Skip” Ellis (1943 – 2014)

Dr. Clarence “Skip” Ellis (1943-2014) earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Illinois. He was the first African American to gain a Ph.D in this area of study.  A dedicated educator, he loved to teach students who were new to the field of study and who lacked experience.  Ellis was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.  Ellis was also instrumental in the development of “groupware” technology. This technology makes it possible for several people to collaborate on a document at the same time.  His work made it possible for programs such as Google Docs and Sharepoint software to be developed.  He is also credited with inventing the technology we now use to click “icons” on a computer screen to execute computer commands.

Continue reading “Thank Dr. Clarence Ellis When You Click An Icon On Your Computer!”

Bertin Nahum: Robotic Surgical Equipment Inventor

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Bertin Nahum
Bertin Nahum

Black Mail Fast Facts: Bertin Nahum (1970-) a native of Benin, West Africa is the CEO of Medtech located in France which he founded in 2002. His company specializes in creating robotic surgical equipment to guide surgeons, and biologists during biopsies, implants and surgeries. He is considered to be one of the world’s most revolutionary high tech entrepreneurs.  One of his most notable robotic inventions developed in 2010 is, “ROSA”. ROSA helps surgeons perform brain surgery. The robot is utilized in hospitals around the world. Nahum holds an Engineering Degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (France) and a Master of Science in Robotics from Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Other recent Black Mail Posts:

Miriam Benjamin: Inventor of The Gong Signal Chair

Benjamin Thornton: Inventor of Telephone Message Recording Device:

 

 

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