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Inventions by African-Americans

This is an attempt to make the readers aware of the contribution of these Americans in the field of science.
Shashank Nakate Feb 6, 2019
The inventions made by African-Americans are of great significance in the history of USA. These inventions laid the foundation for a rapid growth in the field of technology. Here are some that belong to different fields of science. Potato chips, agricultural products, and even the blood bank models were invented by African-Americans.

Important Inventions

Blood Bank

This concept was invented by an African-American doctor called Charles Richard Drew. The Red Cross Society used Dr. Drew's Blood Bank project to develop their own model of these banks. Dr. Drew was appointed as the director of this model.

Potato Chips

George Krum was the inventor of potato chips, and he developed this food product in 1853. The story behind this invention is an interesting one. In those times, French fries were more popular than any other food item in this category.
When a customer complained about the thickness of the fries, Mr. Krum decided to make the thinnest fries. However, he ended up inventing the most popular snack item. The customers at a local restaurant liked the food item, and thereafter, the popularity of potato chips went on increasing.

Agricultural Inventions/Products

Mr. George Washington Carver was originally a slave. He became a famous scientist and educator, and he developed many products from peanuts, pecans, sweet potatoes, and soybeans.
The production of agricultural products and the consequent increase in the farmers' income of the Southern USA, was possible only due to these inventions and discoveries. The developments brought about by Mr. Carver were a kind of a green revolution, which helped the marginal farmers to increase their income.


This facility, which was used for dropping letters, was invented by Philip B. Downing. This invention was patented on 27th October, 1891.

Steam Engine Lubricator

It was invented by Elijah McCoy. A mechanical enginee, McCoy was known for manufacturing high quality products for industries. People relied on the different products released by Mr. McCoy.

Incandescent Light Bulb Carbon Filament

The improvement in incandescent bulb was brought about by Lewis Howard Latimer. They used carbon filament in the bulb. Mr. Latimer was a part of Thomas Edison's research team, better known as the 'Edison's Pioneers'.

Gas Mask

Garett Augustus Morgan invented this type of mask. The original one had two tubes, one for inhaling clean air, while the other for removing/exhaling air. These masks were used by police departments, as well as by the army during World War I.

Train-to-station Communication

This system was patented by Granville T. Woods in the year 1887. It was named as telegraphony, and was first invented by Mr. Woods in 1885, leading to the development of communication between trains and stations. The induction telegraph used in communicating between moving trains and stations was patented in 1887.

Shoelasting Machine

Jan Ernst Matzeliger patented the shoelasting machine in 1883. Before this invention, the process of attaching upper part of the shoe to the sole was time-consuming. Production of shoes went up from 50 pairs per day to about 150-700 pairs per day after the invention of this machine.
Here,  inventions by African-Americans presents a short account of the major/breakthrough technological achievements. African-Americans have contributed greatly in the technological developments which took place in USA, and also around the world.