Celebrating Black History Month

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially had the United States recognize February as Black History Month. As we celebrate the 43rd anniversary, here are fourteen things people use every day that were made by black inventors:


  • The modern stop light and gas mask – Garrett Morgan
  • Street mailbox – Philip Downing
  • Closed circuit television – Marie Van Brittan Brown and Albert Brown
  • Mechanical clothes dryer – George T. Sampson
  • Blood bank – Charles Drew
  • Laser cataract surgery – Dr. Patricia E. Bath
  • America’s first clock – Benjamin Banneker
  • First blimp to have an electric motor and directional controls – John Pickering
  • Folding chair – John Purdy and James R. Sadgwar
  • Modern toilet – Thomas Elkins
  • Pacemaker – Otis Boykin
  • Potato chip – George Crum
  • Super soaker – Lonnie G. Johnson
  • GPS – Gladys West


Want more information on famous black inventors, poets, authors, politicians, and more? Come by your local library and ask your Teen Services Librarian!

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