Inventions Black Inventions We'd Be Completely Lost Without  

Damon Davis
989 votes 239 voters 9.4k views 15 items

If your list of Black inventors begins and ends with George Washington Carver, you have so much more to learn. Black inventors and their inventions have been changing the world for the better for hundreds of years. Believe it or not, you've no doubt used tons of Black inventions over the course of your life, many of which you may not have even known were created by African American innovators. For instance did you know that the Super Soaker, refrigerated trucks, and pencil sharpeners where all Black inventions?  

We've gathered up a collection of brilliant inventions you probably use in your every day life, all of which were invented by Black people. Whether you realize it or not, every time you sit down to eat a bag of potato chips or play video games at home, you have industrious African Americans to thank. Whether it's world-changing inventions like the concept of a blood bank, or smaller but no less valuable objects like the dust pan or golf tee, check out these modern day objects that were created by Black inventors. Vote up the ones you'd be lost without.

1 100 VOTES

The Modern Home Video Gaming Console

The Modern Home Video Gaming C... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Black Inventions We'd Be Completely Lost Without
Photo: via Reddit
If you love to play on your Playstation, Xbox, or Wii, then give it up for a guy by the name of Gerald A. Lawson. He created the first home video gaming system with interchangeable cartridges, offering players the chance to play all of their favorite games from the comfort of their own houses.
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2 88 VOTES

Potato chip is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Black Inventions We'd Be Completely Lost Without
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

The story of the potato chip started back in 1853 when a man named George Crum was working as a chef in Saratoga Springs, NY. Frustrated that an order of fries was sent back to the kitchen for being too thick, Crum decided to take revenge on his customer by chopping pieces of potato as thinly as he could, cooking them until they were burned to a crisp, and promptly returning them to the complainer. Much to his dismay, the customer absolutely loved the chips and they quickly became one of the most popular items on the menu.

 

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3 80 VOTES

The Modern Refridgerator

The Modern Refridgerator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Black Inventions We'd Be Completely Lost Without
Photo: via Pinterest
Prior to 1870, the closest thing they had to a refrigerator was a huge container you could put food in and surround with ice. Needless to say, food didn't last very long inside such contraptions, which is why Thomas Elkins decided to shake things up a bit. Elkins developed a system that used metal cooling coils to bring the temperature of a container down to freezing temperature, allowing it to keep perishables fresh without having to worry about huge chunks of melting ice.
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4 72 VOTES

The Gas Mask and Traffic Signals

The Gas Mask and Traffic Signa... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Black Inventions We'd Be Completely Lost Without
Photo: Isaac Shepherd/Flickr

Though Garrett A Morgan had only a sixth grade education, the son of freed slaves managed to turn himself into a businessman. He owned a repair shop, clothing business, cosmetics line, and even a Black newspaper. On top of that, he developed what he called the "safety hood," after seeing how many firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty. He even debuted it himself in 1916 by using it to save the lives of workers trapped in a tunnel explosion. The "hood" became a sensation and led to what we now know as the gas mask. But did he stop there? No way. He also patented the mechanical traffic light in 1923, which he then sold to General Electric.  


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