Between 1863 and 1913, approximately 1,200 inventions were patented by minority inventors. Many more were unidentified because they hid their race to avoid discrimination or sold their inventions to others. The following stories are about a few of the great minority inventors.
Elijah McCoy earned about 50 patents, however, his most famous one was for a metal or glass cup that fed oil to bearings through a small-bore tube. Elijah McCoy was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1843, the son of slaves who had fled Kentucky. He died in Michigan in 1929. More about Elijah McCoy
Benjamin Banneker created the first striking clock made of wood in America. He became known as the "Afro-American Astronomer." He published an almanac and with his knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, he assisted in the surveying and planning of the new city of Washington, D.C. More about Benjamin Banneker
Granville Woods had more than 60 patents. Known as the "Black Edison," he improved Bell's telegraph and created an electrical motor that made the underground subway possible. He also improved the airbrake. More about Granville Woods
Garrett Morgan invented an improved traffic signal. He also invented a safety hood for firefighters. More about Garrett Morgan
George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver aided the Southern states with his many inventions. He discovered over 300 different products made from the peanut which, until Carver, was considered a lowly food fit for hogs. He dedicated himself to teaching others, learning and working with nature. He created over 125 new products with the sweet potato and taught poor farmers how to rotate crops to i mprove their soil and their cotton. George Washington Carver was a great scientist and inventor who learned to be a careful observer and who was honored throughout the world for his creation of new things. More about George Washington Carver