5 Notable African American Inventors That Go Unrecognized!

5 Notable African American Inventors That Go Unrecognized!


The stoplight, the curling iron, The peanut, hip hop, all invented by people of color… and the list goes on and on! The potato chip? 3D movies? Who invented the modern video gaming system? The Elevator? Take a minute and pay homage to famous black inventors who go unrecognized for their major contributions to our society.

Notable African American inventors:

black inventors

1. George Crum – The potato chip Every time a person crunches into a potato chip, he or she is enjoying the delicious taste of one of the world's most famous snacks – a treat that might not exist without the contribution of black inventor George Crum. It all began when a patron who ordered a plate of French-fried potatoes sent them back to Crum's kitchen because he felt they were too thick and soft. To teach the picky patron a lesson, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes as thin as he possibly could, and then fried them until they were hard and crunchy. Finally, to top them off, he added a generous heaping of salt. Though Crum never attempted to patent his invention, the snack was eventually mass-produced and sold in bags – providing thousands of jobs nationwide. See More

black inventors

2. Marc Hannah- 3D Film Graphics In 1982, Hannah co-founded Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) with Jim Clark and five others, a company that went on to be well-known for its computer graphics technology.  In 1986, he was named the company’s principal scientist for the creation of computer programs like Personal IRIS, Indigo, Indigo2, and Indy graphics that were used to create effects for movies like Jurassic Park, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunt for Red October, and Field of Dreams. George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic used Silicon Graphics’ technology to create Terminator 2. Hannah’s programs have also been used to create television commercials and the opening introduction for Monday Night Football. See More

black inventors

3. Alexander Miles- Modern Day Elevator Design  Early elevators were different from the mostly automated devices we're familiar with today. Passengers had to manually open and close the elevator doors, as well as the door leading to the elevator shaft. If anyone forgot to close the shaft door, other passengers could fall down the shaft when expecting to step into the elevator. Miles invented a mechanism that triggered the shaft doors to open and close along with the elevator doors, making the ride safer. The elevators we ride today still feature automatic shaft doors similar to the invention Miles patented in 1887. See More

black inventors

4. Gerald Lawson-The Video Gaming Console Before disc-based systems like PlayStation, Xbox and Wii transformed the video game industry, before techno-diversions like Grand Theft Auto and Madden NFL and even before Pac-Man and Donkey Kong became the obsession of millions of electronic gamers, it was Mr. Lawson who first made it possible to play a variety of video games at home. Gerald A. Lawson, a largely self- taught engineer who became a pioneer in electronic video entertainment, created the first home video game system with interchangeable game cartridges. See More

black inventors

5. Lonnie Johnson – The Super Soaker African-American engineer and inventor Lonnie G. Johnson worked for the U.S. Air Force and the NASA space program. After tinkering with the invention of a high-powered water gun, Johnson's Super Soaker became a top-selling item by the early 1990s. He has since been developing the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Converter (JTEC), an engine that converts heat directly into electricity. http://www.biography.com/people/lonnie-g-johnson-17112946#synopsis See More






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