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As Black History Month unfolds, there’s no better time to take a closer look into the remarkable contributions of African Americans who have left an indelible mark on our world.

Beyond the familiar narratives of activists, civil rights leaders, and entertainment icons, Black culture intricately weaves itself into the fabric of our daily lives. From the 1800s onwards, a multitude of African American inventors have significantly shaped the course of history, leaving us with innovations that resonate even today.

This article celebrates both renowned and lesser-known figures who, through their ingenuity, have transformed our reality.

Each inventor’s story reflects resilience and determination, often triumphing over formidable challenges. As you explore this compilation, you’ll encounter the minds behind iconic creations such as the Super Soaker, the beloved companion to jelly, peanut butter, and everyday essentials like the security system and caller ID.

The post Best In Black: 10 Black Inventors That Impacted The World appeared first on Black America Web.

Best In Black: 10 Black Inventors That Impacted The World  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. Chef George Crum (1824-1914)

Chef George Crum (1824-1914) unintentionally created the potato chip in 1853 when a customer complained about thick fried potatoes. Despite not patenting the creation, the thin crisps became a global favorite snack.

2. George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

George Washington Carver (1864-1943) is widely known for his contribution of peanut butter, but his impact goes beyond that. As an agricultural chemist, he conducted experiments from 1896 to boost the profitability of sweet potatoes and peanuts, thriving in the South amidst a declining cotton supply. Carver unveiled 518 new products in 1914, ranging from ink, dye, soap, cosmetics, flour, vinegar to synthetic rubber.

3. Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919)

Became the first African American self-made millionaire by launching a line of hair products specifically for Black hair, starting with Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower in 1905. Her life story inspired a Netflix series, “Self Made,” which debuted in March 2020.

4. Garrett Morgan (1877-1963)

Significantly impacted safety with his inventions. In 1922, he patented the traffic signal, introducing the third “caution” signal, now the yellow light. Additionally, in 1912, Morgan received a patent for his early gas mask, known as the “Breathing Device,” which has since saved countless lives.

5. Frederick McKinley Jones (1893-1961)

Made a significant impact by inventing refrigeration equipment, earning over 40 patents. In the 1930s, he pioneered automatic refrigerated air-cooling units for various vehicles, revolutionizing food preservation. The Thermo King, his creation, enabled year-round access to fresh food and played a vital role in preserving blood and medicine during WWII. In 1991, he became the first African American to be awarded the National Medal of Technology.

6. Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner (1912-2006),

Often overlooked, holds five patents, showcasing her impactful inventions. In 1957, she patented the adjustable sanitary belt with a moisture-proof napkin pocket, revolutionizing menstrual care. Kenner also created a practical serving tray for walking frames, a wall-mounted toilet tissue holder, and a back washer for the shower.

7. Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)

Pioneered the first home security system, patenting it in 1966 to enhance her Queens, New York residence’s security. Her groundbreaking design featured a camera, two-way microphone, peepholes, and monitors, laying the groundwork for today’s advanced systems.

8. Shirley Jackson (born 1946)

The first African American woman to earn a MIT doctorate, revolutionized telecommunications with key contributions like the touch-tone phone, portable fax, fiber optic cables, and caller ID. In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed her as co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory.

9. Lonnie Johnson (born 1949)

an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, created the Super Soaker water gun in his spare time. Launched in 1990, the toy became immensely popular and, as of 2017, Forbes reported over $1 billion in retail sales.

10. Lisa Gelobter (born 1971)

played a key role in the 1995 development of Shockwave, a groundbreaking technology for web animation, shaping the creation of popular GIFs. Additionally, Gelobter contributed to the launch of Hulu and held a position on the senior management team.