Everyday Devices Created by Black Inventors

Image via GQR

As it’s Black History Month, I would like to celebrate the Black inventors who changed our lives for the better many years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the daily objects that we probably take for granted that they created.

Automatic Elevator Doors

Elevator doors and shafts were originally controlled manually, which led to many tragic accidents of people falling down elevator shafts. Luckily for us, Alexander Miles took out a patent in 1887 “for a mechanism that automatically opens and closes elevator shaft doors.” Miles’ designs can still be seen in elevators today.

Improved Ironing Board

Long ago, the ironing board did not look like it does today; the ironing board’s first model was essentially a horizontal wooden block. In 1892, Sarah Boone, an African American woman who was born in enslavement, designed a curved, narrow board which made it easier to iron garments, especially women’s clothing. The more common ironing board later evolved similarly to her design.

The Three-Light Traffic Light

The original traffic light only consisted of two lights: red and green. Red was for stop, and green was for go, but this caused a lot of accidents as there was no warning for when the red light would come on. Then came Garett Morgan who created the three-light traffic light in 1923 with the yellow light we all know today to warn us to slow down and improve our safety conditions on the road.