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To help celebrate Black History Month, we are diving in to appreciate some of the greatest inventions of all time. And some of the most popular everyday products, inventions, and household items were created by African Americans. Here are a few of them.

Traffic Lights

There were many versions of the traffic light, but the earliest version was created by Garrett Morgan. He acquired the patent and later sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000.


Everyone loves a good Gif to enhance a text, article, or social media post, and we have Lisa Gelobter to thank for that.

Ice Cream Scoop

Back in the 1980s, after watching several servers struggle to scoop ice cream, Alfred L. Cralle created an ice cream scoop with a built in scraper.

The Home Security System

Home security systems are one of the best ways to stay protected. And a full-time nurse named Marie Van Brittan Brown invented them.

Clothes Dryer

Let’s all thank George T. Sampson for making our lives a lot easier. He is credited for creating a mechanical clothes dryer in the 1890s.

Blood Banks

The first blood banks, blood plasma programs, and bloodmobiles were created by Dr. Charles Drew.


Dustpans were already a thing, but Lloyd P. Ray improved them. He invented the kind that were able to stand on their own.

Super Soaker

Super Soakers are a top-selling toy. And they were created by Lonnie Johnson, who also worked for NASA and the U.S Air force.


We have Alexander Miles to thanks for the automatic elevator doors. He came up with the idea after his daughter almost fell down an elevator shaft.


Mic check 1, 2, 3. While working at Bells Labs, James E. West created the microphones we use while singing, talking, or using our phones.

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