Garrett A. Morgan
On That Date, He And His Brother Donned Gas Masks And Personally Led A Rescue Team In Pulling Out Over 30 Workers Who Had Been Trapped After An Explosion In Tunnel No. 5, At The Cleveland Water Works. The Morgan Safety Hood, As The Mask Was Called At One Time, Was Also Used During World War I.
Morgan's Gas Mask Was Patented On October 13, 1914. Calling It A Breathing Device, Garrett Morgan Wrote In His Patent Application No. 1.113.675:
"The object of the invention is to provide a portable attachment which will enable a fireman to enter a house filled with thick suffocating gases and smoke and to breathe freely for some time therein, and thereby enable him to perform his duties of saving life and valuables without danger to himself from suffocation. The device is also useful for protection of engineers, chemists and working men who are obligated to breathe noxious fumes or dust derived from the materials in which they are obligated to work."
In 1923 Morgan Also Invented The First Automatic Stoplight. Prior To His Invention, Policemen Sat In Towers Overlooking Intersections And Manually Changed Signals. His Earliest Invention Was A Human Hair Straightener, Or Refining Cream. Today The G. A. Morgan Refining Company Is Still Operating In His Hometown Of Cleveland, Ohio.
Morgan Was An Active Member Of The NAACP And A Member Of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He Was Also A Co-Founder Of The Cleveland Association Of Colored Men. In 1920, He Established The "Cleveland Call," A Black American Newspaper.
Prior To His Death In 1963, Garrett Morgan Became A Successful Businessman And Is Reported To Be The First Black American To Purchase An Automobile.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.