Saturday, March 4, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: March 4, 1877 - Garrett Augustus Morgan

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Garrett Augustus Morgan, black inventor, was born to Sidney and Elizabeth (Reed) Morgan on March 4, 1877, in Paris, Kentucky, the seventh of eleven children. After six years of education in the common schools of Kentucky, he went to Cincinnati to work as a handyman for a wealthy landowner. He moved to Cleveland in 1895 to work in a clothing factory, which he left in 1907 to open his own business. In 1914 Morgan received a patent for a "breathing device" -- the gas mask used during World War I. This invention won a gold medal at the New York City meeting of the Second International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety in 1914. The city of Cleveland gave him a gold medal after the mask was used successfully to rescue men trapped in a tunnel of the Cleveland waterworks on July 25, 1916. On November 20, 1923, Morgan received a patent for the electric-light traffic signal with different colors for Stop, Caution, and Go.

Morgan developed glaucoma in 1943, which left him nearly blind for the remainder of his life. He was married twice: to Madge Nelson in 1896, and to Mary Anne Hasek in 1908. He died in Cleveland on July 27, 1963, and was buried there in Lake View Cemetery.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Dunnigan, Alice Allison. The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians : Their Heritage and Traditions. Washington, D.C.: Associated, 1982. Print.
E185.93.K3 D86 1982, Young Library – 4th Floor

Jenkins, Edward S. American Black Scientists and Inventors. Washington: National Science Teachers Association, 1975. Print.
Q141 .A46, Education Library

Brodie, James Michael. Created Equal : The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators. 1st ed. New York: W. Morrow, 1993. Print.
E185.96 .B835 1993, Young Library – Reference

Celebrating the African American contribution.
Public Broadcasting Service. African-American Infobits 20 Cuts. 1993.

AV-V3823, Young Media Library

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