Garrett A. Morgan

Garrett A. Morgan

Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, USA
Death 27 Aug 1963 (aged 86)
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Burial Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Plot Section 50
Memorial ID 1311 · View Source
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Inventor. Born in Paris Kentucky, the son of former slaves, he received little formal education as a child, but as a teenager the industrious youth hired a tutor to teach him while he worked in Cincinnati, Ohio as a handyman. In 1895 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he found work as a sewing machine repairman and spent his spare time pursuing his hobby of experimenting with gadgets and machines. He became a highly successful businessman operating his own sewing machine repair business, a tailoring business with over thirty employees and becoming a newspaper publisher. Even with all his business success, his passion was still inventing. He invented and received a patent for several new creations, including the three-position traffic signal, which was the precursor to the red, yellow and green traffic lights used around the world today. He also invented a combination safety hood and smoke protector. In 1916 the inventor made national news when he used this breathing device to rescue several men trapped in a gas-filled tunnel underneath Lake Erie. He also created hair care products and sewing machine accessories still popular today. His accomplishments are even more remarkable considering the racial prejudice he had to overcome as a black American living in the early 1900’s. He is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Bio by: Bigwoo

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1311
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Garrett A. Morgan (4 Mar 1877–27 Aug 1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1311, citing Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .