Celebrating Black History Month, 14th October
Each day in October we will be finding out about Black History that is less well known. Often Black History focusses on a few key individuals…we hope that this October everyone can learn something that they didn’t already know.
Garrett Morgan was a Black American inventor at the turn of the 20th Century. He invented a wide variety of inventions such as a hair straightening chemical, and three way traffic lights (the type we see at most traffic junctions today). By far his most important invention was the gas mask. He invented a hood that helped to filter air in 1912.
With the start of World War One in 1914, and the use of chemical warfare through the use of mustard and chlorine gas the British government paid for further research into his gas hood. This was then used to save thousands of lives during World War One and went on to become the gas masks that we see today. Arguably, his invention rendered the use of gas in World War Two relatively pointless, preventing many other wars from becoming chemical wars and helping the emergency services to save lives in countless other situations.