The Trailblazing Work Of African-American Inventors

Did you know elevator doors, the blood bank, and the video-game console were all created by African-American inventors? Explore how inventors of color have made a far-reaching impact on modern society.

Everyday Essentials Invented By African-Americans

FYI, the super-soaker is thanks to a black inventor.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Lonnie Johnson, a NASA scientist, invented the Super Soaker. 00:13

  2. Benjamin Thornton created a predecessor to the answering machine, which was a device that attached to a phone and recorded calls. 01:11

  3. Lewis Latimer improved on the carbon filaments in light bulbs, ensuring that Edison's bulbs lasted much longer than they had in the past. 01:40

Crucial Inventions Of Three Black Scientists

Without these inventions, you wouldn't be reading this right now.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. In the 1960s, James West invented the electret microphone, which revolutionized everything from hearing aids to rock 'n roll. 00:33

  2. 1/3 of all of the patentable inventions inside IBM's original personal computer are still held by Mark Dean. 01:07

  3. Gerard Lawson developed the very first video-game console, the Fairchild Channel F, which was released a year before the first Atari console. 02:01

Contributions of Five African-American Chemists

From peanut crops to eye surgery, these scientists forever changed the world.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Percy Julian was a pioneer in synthesizing chemicals from plants, including synthetic cortisone to help with arthritis. 00:21

  2. Patricia Bath invented a new treatment for cataracts called Laserphaco, which is still in wide use today. 01:15

  3. George Washington Carver researched and introduced methods of crop rotation to save Southern farmland depleted by years of growing only cotton. 01:51

The Legacy of George Washington Carver

Learn about the man Time Magazine once called "the Black Leonardo Da Vinci."

Written by Curiosity Staff February 19, 2016

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