Garrett Morgan Original Painting
"Big Chief Mason"
Acrylic on wood canvas
About Garrett Morgan
Garrett Morgan is an American inventor. With only a 6 grade education, Morgan went on to become an impactful problem solver. He started off fixing sewing machines which lead him to his first success of creating a formula for hair straighten cream. The hair product ,which was originally intended to lay wool fibers in fabric, became a huge success in the African American community. He later went on to create his most notable invention, a breathing device which was marketed for fire departments. It ended up being used as the prototype for the gas mas used in WWI. Morgan hired a white man to pose as the inventor of the gas mask, he himself acted as a Native American sidekick named "Big Chief Mason". However in 1916 there was a tunnel construction explosion in Lake Erie and Morgan and his brothers used the gas mask to save several lives. Their race was revealed and they were not given the recognition of their herocism until after Morgan died.
Morgan was the first black man to own a car in Cleveland, which sparked his interest in mechanics. It was in 1923 were he created the traffic light and sold the rights to General Electric.
Morgan supported the African American community throughout his lifetime and was an early memember of the NAACP. He died in 1963