African American Contributions to Science and Technology



Madam C. J. Walker

This short video presents 10 exceptional individuals. They are:

Gerald “Jerry” A. Lawson (1940-2011) is known for his work in designing the Fairchild Channel F video game console as well as leading the team that pioneered the commercial video game cartridge.

Lewis Latimar (1848-1928) invented a method for producing a more durable carbon filament, making incandescent lighting practical and affordable for consumers.

Otis Boykin (1920-1982) invented electrical resistors used in computing, missile guidance, and artificial pacemakers.

Marc Hannah (1956-) developed the 3-D special effects systems used widely in movies.

Patricia Bath (1942-2019) invented laserphaco, a new device and technique to remove cataracts.

Alexander Miles (1838-1918) was awarded a patent for automatically opening and closing elevator doors.

Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) invented the world’s first hair-straightening formula.

Garret Morgan (1877-1963) invented a three-way traffic light, and a protective ‘smoke hood’ notably used in a 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue.

G. R. Carruthers (1939-2020) invented the first Moon-based astronomy observatory, which was placed by Apollo 16 astronauts on the lunar surface during his career at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950) developed improved techniques for blood storage and applied his knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II.

Related reading: The Life and Faith of George Washington CarverHenrietta Lacks’ Cells Advance Medicine

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