Black inventor Garrett A. Morgan receives a patent for developing a three-way automatic traffic light. He later sells the patent rights to General Electric.
1923 (Nov 20)
Garrett A. Morgan, a Black inventor, was awarded U.S. Patent no. 1,475,024 for developing a three-way, automatic traffic light. Earlier, Morgan had invented the gas mask used by American troops during world war I. Morgan was awarded a patent in 1914 for this "breathing device." The Black inventor was one of eleven children born to Sidney and Elizabeth Morgan. He was born in Paris, Tennessee, in 1875. This inhalator was used in a successful rescue of workers trapped in a tunnel under Lake Erie in 1916. The City of Cleveland awarded Morgan a gold medal following the rescue. The patent rights to the traffic light were sold by Morgan to the General Electric Company for $140,000. Morgan died in 1963.