There’s a lot of inventions that we use every day that would be impossible without the brillance of Black inventors. Take a look at 10 Black inventions that we would be completely lost without:
In 1905, Madam C.J. Walker (real name Sarah Breedlove) invented an innovative line of African American hair care products and created a straightening tool, known as the hot comb. Walker was also a philanthropist and entrepreneur and became one of America’s first self-made millionaires. Her hair care products are still sold today.
If you enjoy not walking up hundreds of steps, you have Alexander Miles to thank. Miles patented his invention for automatic elevator doors back in 1887 which allowed them to open and close on their own. Prior to his invention, elevators were operated manually by an operator or passengers which created a safety hazard for users.
Frederick McKinley Jones' invention of automatic refrigerator equipment helps us in our everyday lives. His invention allows large trucks to transport perishable products without spoiling which helps deliveries to grocery stores, blood banks, and medicines to hospitals. His original design was modified so it could be outfitted for trains, boats, and ships to service other industries. Between 1919 and 1945 he patented more than 60 inventions, 40 of which were in refrigeration. He died in 1961 and in honor of his efforts, he was awarded posthumously with the National Medal of Technology making him the first Black inventor to receive the honor.
You have to admit, wrinkles are just not cute so this invention is an important one. The ironing board was invented by Sarah Boone in 1892 which helps for a wrinkle-free fit. Boone was one of the first Black women in American history to be awarded a patent for an invention, per BlackPast.
A lot of good times in the summer revolved around using a water gun with friends and you have Lonnie G. Johnson to thank for that one. Johnson invented the super soaker water gun in 1990 after serving for U.S. Air Force and then working for 12 years at NASA.
The reason behind why your home is warm during the cold winter months is due to an invention by Alice H. Parker. Parker invented the central heating system in 1919 using natural gas to warm our homes even on the coldest days.
Let's talk about this invention that helps us get from place to place to with the avoidance of accidents and to protect drivers. The traffic light was created by Garrett Morgan in 1923 to help keep traffic in order and drivers safe.
3D glasses make experiencing action films so much cooler and for that, we can thank Kenneth Dunkley. Dunkley filed a patent for his 3D glasses in 1986 after discovering that blocking two points in our peripheral vision creates a three-dimensional effect. That allowed us to experience movies in a new perception.
Protecting your home is important to all homeowners, and inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown was able to create the home security system to do this. Brown invented a two-way microphone and remote control operated door lock which stems as the foundation of more modern adaptations, such as using Alexa to lock the door and surveillance systems like Ring.
In 1916, Madeline Turner came up with the idea to preserve the nutrients in fruits which is how the fruit press was born! Fruits such as apples and oranges provide important nutrients that can now easily be turned into juices to drink. The fruit press is the foundation of modern cooking technologies such as food processors which are used to break down anything you can imagine.