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Written by Brandon Brown
Anything you see that is not made by nature was made by humans. The process of creating these tools, or objects, is called invention. It is not clearly known how many inventions there have been since the beginning of time, but if you look left or right you will see an invention. Many inventions were made by Black people. These Black inventors created many things you see or
use every day.
When you look inside a light bulb you will see a squiggly black wire, this is called a carbon filament. It was invented by Lewis Latimore. Without this filament, lightbulbs would burn out in a matter of seconds! When your shirt is wrinkled and you want to make it nice and smooth, you use an iron. But where do you iron your clothes? Sometimes I use a bed, but most people use an ironing board. The ironing board was invented by a Black woman named Sarah Boone. What about your nice clothes? How do they get nice and clean? My mother took every one of my nice dress shirts, or my jeans to the Dry Cleaner. At a dry cleaner, the operators use a dry cleaning machine. Without the process of wetting your clothes, this machine cleans cloth. The Dry Cleaning machine was made by a Black inventor as well, his name is Thomas Jennings!
What about the tricycle? Do you remember riding one at a young age? The tricycle was invented by Matthew Cherry, another Black Inventor! When you play video games you may find yourself on a level where you need to protect your breathing from gas. If so, you equip the nearest gas mask. If you ever need one, you can thank a Black inventor by the name of Garrett Morgan. How about food? What kind of sandwich is eaten by almost every person in America since they were kids like you? If you guessed a grilled cheese sandwich you are right. The sandwich I am referring to is the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich (PB&J)! And what is a PB&J sandwich without the PB? That delicious gooey substance was popularized by another Black Inventor; George Washington Carver. And what other Black made invention goes great with sandwiches? The potato chip, made by Henry Crum.
When people have heart attacks or bad hearts, they may need a device to help keep their heart beating. This device is called a pacemaker and it is placed on the heart to shock it and keep its rhythm. The design for the pacemaker was improved by a Black inventor named Otis Boykin. When you start driving you will always see signs outside on the street that prevent you from parking on certain days. These signs are for various reasons, but one reason is for street sweeping. This is done by a giant machine that has large rotating brooms underneath it that “sweep” the streets. Guess what! This device was invented by a Black inventor named Charles B Brooks, he invented the first street sweeper. The mailbox was also invented by a Black inventor. Philip Downing created this mail storage in 1891. Another invention that was made by a black inventor is the lawnmower. It was created by John Albert Burr all the way back in 1899! All of these inventions have been helpful to humans across the globe. What invention have you used? What inventions will you create?