The Patent Drawings of Garrett Augustus Morgan

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Photo of Inventor Garrett Augustus Morgan

Photo of Inventor Garrett Morgan
Photo of Inventor Garrett Morgan. LOC

Garrett Morgan was an inventor and businessman from Cleveland who invented a device called the Morgan safety hood and smoke protector in 1914. Garrett Morgan was also granted a U.S. patent for an inexpensive-to-produce traffic signal.

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Earlier Version of Garrett Augustus Morgan Gas Mask

Earlier Version of Gas Mask
Earlier Version of Gas Mask. USPTO

In 1914, Garrett Morgan was awarded a patent for a Safety Hood and Smoke Protector - U.S. Patent Number 1,090,936

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Garrett Augustus Morgan - Later Gas Mask

Garrett Augustus Morgan - Gas Mask
Garrett Augustus Morgan - Gas Mask. USPTO

Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Patent #1,113,675, 10/13/1914, gas mask

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Garrett Augustus Morgan - Later Gas Mask View Two

Patent #1,113,675, 10/13/1914, gas mask
Patent #1,113,675, 10/13/1914, gas mask. USPTO

On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new "gas masks" and went to the rescue.

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The Garrett Augustus Morgan Traffic Light Signal

The Garrett Augustus Morgan Traffic Light Signal
The Garrett Augustus Morgan Traffic Light Signal. USPTO

The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This "third position" halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely.

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Garrett Augustus Morgan - Traffic Signal Patent #1,475,024 on 11/20/1923.

The inventor sold the rights to his traffic signal to the General Electric Corporation for $40,000. Shortly before his death in 1963, Garrett Morgan was awarded a citation for his traffic signal by the United States Government.