Home / News & Blog / Modern Conveniences: Black Inventors and Their Contributions

Modern Conveniences: Black Inventors and Their Contributions

During Black History month let us acknowledge the efforts of Black inventors who are responsible for making life easier and safer. Think of some of the everyday tasks you accomplish and how we can credit African Americans for making them possible.

Do you iron clothing on an ironing board? Eat fresh produce delivered by trucks? Do you stop at red lights? Have your clothing dry cleaned? Do you keep your home cozy and warm with a natural gas heating furnace? You probably didn’t know it but each of the above are from the efforts and ingenuity of Black Americans.

Thomas Jennings, a Black inventor who helped to create modern day dry cleaning.
Thomas Jennings. Image courtesy of BlackHistory.com

Here are just a few Black inventors whose innovations have made our everyday lives smoother:

1821: Thomas Jennings discovered dry scouring, a forerunner to dry cleaning.

1892: Sarah Boone patented an improved ironing board.

1923: Garrett Morgan invented the three light traffic signal.

1943: Frederick McKinley Jones is responsible for the refrigerated truck.

1920: Alice H. Parker invented a central heating furnace using natural gas.

These are just a few examples of the many achievements of African American inventors who are rarely mentioned or given the credit they deserve.

Be Aware

Let us expand this to give credit to at least one Black American inventor per day throughout the month. Who do you want to see added to this list?

And here are a few more ideas to investigate:

  • Read a book by a Black author.
  • Watch a movie produced and/or directed by a Black director/producer.
  • Support a Black-owned business.
  • Check out the NAACP in your area.

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Learn More

Marilyn has helped groups, as well as individuals overcome personal growth hurdles with her curriculum design and team-building services. Contact MGS Consulting to learn more about how Marilyn’s unique approach could help you or your team.