Megadiversities Feature

When people see luminosity, for instance, they may think of Thomas Edison but it was his right-hand man, Louis Latimer, an African-American, who developed the filament for the light bulb, allowing it to function for more than three days. He also created the electric lamp, did trailblazing work in incandescent lighting, and diagrammed the telephone for Alexander Graham, among other things. The three-way automatic traffic signal was created in 1922 by Garrett Morgan, an African-American, who also invented the gas masks which saved multiple lives during wars. George Washington Carver revolutionized American agriculture through his work on crop rotation, replenishing nutrients in depleted soil, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes and pecans. Jan Matzeliger created the shoe lasting machine that allowed the mass production of shoes. Dr. Charles Drew MD gave us blood plasma that saved hundreds of millions of lives, just to name a few. All four of these Black men were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their innovations and inventions.

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