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Top Black Inventors and Scientists You Should Know

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Patricia E. Bath - first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medically-intended device, Laserphaco Probe

Science and inventions are the fuels that keep the human race progressing to the future. Although it might not be highlighted in the mainstream media, there are plenty of people of color who have revolutionized the way we live our lives through their brilliant inventions.  Let’s take a look at some of the greatest black inventors and scientists and the contributions they’ve made to the world. 

Otis Boykin, black inventors, black excellence Otis Boykin

Oatis Boykin invented no less than 28 electronic devices. He’s famous for the development of pacemakers, components for IBM computers, and an electronic resistor used in controlled missiles, as well as other devices. Basically, Otis Boykin is the cream of the crop when we’re talking about black inventors.

Lewis Howard Latimer, black inventors, black excellence Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer co-worked with other renowned scientists like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. In 1874, he co-patented an improved toilet system for railroad cars. His masterpiece invention is the carbon filament, a key component of the light bulb. So anytime you turn on your light, send a little bit of gratitude to Mr. Latimer. 

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Madam C.J. Walker, black inventors, black excellence Madam C. J. Walker

This inspiring lady had an amazing contribution to the hairdressing industry that is still prevalent today. The super successful hair products, together with the Walker System (an organization focusing on providing employment opportunities to black women) made her the very first African-American female millionaire.

George Washington Carver, black inventors, black excellence George Washington Carver

He is the genius mind behind the earliest known edition of instant coffee. Besides that, he also developed 400 plant products and is broadly given credit as the inventor of peanut butter. He studied peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other plants extensively and helped Southern farmers diversity their crops and improve their diets.  

Garrett Morgan, black inventors, black excellence Garrett Morgan

Garrett Morgan is the man who created one of the first effective gas masks in the world.  Plus, he is credited for inventing the first real traffic light. He received a patent for it back in 1923, courtesy of the US Government.  The son of a former slave, Morgan is also known for being a community leader. 

Patricia E. Bath, black inventors, black excellence Patricia E. Bath

Dr. Bath is a record holder as the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medically-intended device. She holds four patents, one of which is Laserphaco Probe, a medical device that improves on the use of lasers to remove cataracts. She has paved the way for women and blacks in the medical field. 

Lonnie G. Johnson, black inventors, black excellence Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson invented Super Soaker, the renowned water gun we all loved as kids. He is one of NASA’s Aerospace Engineers and has also created various systems for implementation in NASA rockets. He holds a total of 80 patents and has two technology development companies, Excellatron Solid State, LLC and Johnson Electro-Mechanical Systems (JEMS). 

Arthur Zang, black inventors, african inventors, black excellence Arthur Zang

This Cameroonian engineer invented the CardioPad, a touch screen medical tablet that enables the performance of heart examinations like ECG in remote locations.  He is a recipient of multiple enterprise awards. Watch the video below to see how this remarkable device works.

These are just a few of our extraordinary black inventors. Let us know about your favorite black inventors below.