Garrett A. Morgan

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Garrett A. Morgan

Birthdate:
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Sidney Morgan, slave and alleged son of John Hunt Morgan and Elizabeth Reed
Husband of Mary Anne Hassek
Ex-husband of Madge Nelson
Father of Garrett Augustus Morgan, Jr.; John P. Morgan and Cosmo Morgan

Occupation: Inventor, Entrepreneur
Managed by: <private>
Last Updated:

About Garrett A. Morgan

Garrett A. Morgan (1877-1963)

Garrett Augustus Morgan was an African American inventor, whose inquisitiveness led to the invention of many valuable and safety devices. Among his creations are the three position traffic signal, hair care products and the Safety Hood and Smoke Protector.

The Three Position Traffic Signal

After witnessing an accident, Garrett Morgan decided that a safety mechanism needed to be created to eliminate the frequent number of collisions. On November 20, 1923, his patent for the three position traffic signal was approved. He later had this invention patented in Canada and Great Britain.

The traffic device was a T-shaped pole, with three indicators: Stop, Go and an all directional stop position, which stopped traffic to allow pedestrians to cross the streets. Morgan’s invention was widely used throughout North America until it was replaced by the automatic red, yellow and green traffic light signals.

Garrett later sold the rights to this invention to the General Electric Corporation. In 1963, he was recognized by the United States Government for improving traffic safety.