31 terms

African-American Inventors and Scientists


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Lewis Latimer
Invented the carbon filament for the incandescent light bulb. Worked with Thomas Edison.
Elijah McCoy
Black Canadian-American inventor who had 57 U.S. patients, most notable for his work with the lubrication of steam engines.
Norbert Rilleux
Invented the multiple-effect evaporator.
Madame C.J Walker
Created Black cosmetic products. First woman to become a millionaire.
George Washington Carver
African American inventor, scientist, botanist and educator. His reputation is based on his outstanding research with soybeans, sweet potatoes and peanuts.
J. Standard
African-American inventor of the refrigerator.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler
First African American woman to earn a medical degree in the United States.
Lewis Temple
African American inventor, blacksmith and abolitionist. He invented the toggling pole that was used on whaling expeditions.
Mae C. Jamieson
First African American woman to become an astronaut.
Jan Matzeliger
Invented the shoe assembly machines; helped with the mass production of shoes.
Ronald McNair
Was a NASA astronaut and physicist; he died on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986.
Guion Bluford
Engineer, NASA engineer; became the first African American in space.
A. Ashbourne
Inventor of the biscuit cutter.
Dr. Theodore Lawless
African American dermatologist, philanthropist and medical researcher, known for his work with syphilis and leprosy.
Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)
Invented the multiplex Railway telegraph.
Percy Julian (1899-1975)
Developed the sympathetic form of cortisone.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams
first African American Cardiologist. He performed one of the first open-heart surgeries in the U.S.
Garrett Morgan
Invented the gas mask and the traffic light.
Dr. Charles Drew
African American physician, researcher, and surgeon. Pioneered methods in blood transfusions and blood plasma.
Sarah Boone
Inventor of the ironing board.
Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)
Mathematician, surveyor, and astronomer, invented the wooden clock in 1753, surveyed original boundaries of Washington D.C., and authored an almanac.
Charles Brooks
Invented the street sweeper.
Sarah Goode
Received and invented a patent for the folding cabinet bed. First African American woman to receive a patent.
Lonnie Johnson
American engineer who invented the Super Soaker, the top-selling toy in 1991 and 1992. This was done while researching thermal transfer energy. He holds over 80 patents.
Ernest Just
Worked with the plasma membrane of biological cells.
Dr. Alexa Canday
Medical doctor specializing in neurosurgery. First African American woman to become a neurosurgeon in 1981.
Dr. Ben Carson
African American neurosurgeon who was first to successfully separate a pair of twins who were jointed at the head.
Dr. Justina Ford
Became Colorado's first African American doctor of Obstetrician.
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson
The first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT and a doctorate in physics.
Mark E. Dean
One of the top engineering minds at the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation. He made his first mark in the industry in the early 1980s, when he and a colleague developed a system that allowed computers to communicate with printers and other devices.
Percy L. Julian
Known as the "soybean chemist", for his extraordinary success in developing innovative drugs and industrial chemicals from natural soya products.