Famous Black Inventors
Wondering about famous black inventors? African-Americans have made great strides in science, technology, medicine and many other things; in fact, many of today's items and objects may have been invented by a black person. Learning about famous black inventors can easily be done before the month of February, which is Black History Month, and throughout the year, surprising yourself with the inventions have come from the minds of others.
- Benjamin Banneker If the name Benjamin Banneker doesn't ring a bell to you, you're missing out on one of the most important inventors. Just take a look at the clock within your house or office and you're looking at one of his inventions. The son of former slaves, Banneker was a self-taught inventor, interested in many different subjects. He was a farmer, mathematician, astronomer, author and land surveyor. In the 1750s, Banneker borrowed a pocket watch from a friend and took it apart. Afterwards, he made his first clock, gaining popularity with his invention. Not only did this lead to a successful watch repair shop, his interest in astronomy lead to his predicting a solar eclipse in 1789 and to having Thomas Jefferson ask him to lead a surveyor team within Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson has done a lot towards the growth of technology: portable faxes, caller ID, call waiting and even the fiber optic cables used in overseas calling and Internet. It was a black inventor that helped with some of the most important technical advances we use today. She was also the very first black person to receive a Ph.D. from MIT.
- George Washington Carver A discussion about famous black inventors wouldn't be complete without talk of George Washington Carver. Ultimately known for inventing different uses for the peanut, not only was Carver the first black individual to attend what is now Iowa University, but he was also the first black faculty member, going on to serve as director of education for Tuskegee Institute.
There are many famous black inventors with many of our modern tools and uses coming from these creative innoventions. Stop lights, heart monitors, telecommunications... all of these inventions have had a brush with someone famous. These are the people we should teach in schools, so that other black inventors—and other inventors of any race—can grow and continue the discoveries that await them.