Black History Month

Black woman driving a car, smiling at the camera.

Black History Month is a chance to reflect on black history in America and celebrate the contributions of black inventors.

Road Safe Seniors has rounded up several incredible black inventors who contributed to automotive greatness. This is not a complete list.

C.R. Patterson

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C.R. Patterson was born in Virginia in 1833. Patterson became a blacksmith in Greenfield, Ohio, met J.P. Lowe,  a carriage maker,  and they became business partners. Patterson and Lowe created C.R. Patterson and Sons, and by 1900 Patterson was the only owner of the buisness. He created about 28 models of carriages and had roughly 50 employees. In 1910, Patterson died leaving his business to his son.

George Washington Carver

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George Washington Carver was a highly respected scientist, and the head of the agricultural department at Tuskegee Normal & Industrial Institute. Henry Ford invited George Washington Carver to the Ford Motor Company in 1942. Carver worked for Ford Motor Company for several years where he helped develop synthetic rubber. He also invented postage stamp glue, special plastics, a gasoline alternative, and over 100 other important advances. 

Garrett Morgan

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Garrett Morgan’s first job was a handyman where he learned to repair sewing machines. Morgan opened his own repair shop in 1907 and became one of the top inventors in the country. Morgan treated himself to a car and noticed that traffic lights in town changed from go to stop with no warning. Morgan created the idea of an “interim warning position” or a yellow light.

Richard Spikes