Essay about Garrett Morgan: a Biography

1422 WordsSep 28, 20086 Pages
Garrett Morgan Garrett Augustus Morgan was born on March 4, 1877 in Paris, Kentucky, the seventh of eleven children to Sydney and Elizabeth Morgan. His parents had previously been slaves, freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. At the early age of 14, Morgan decided to travel north to Ohio in the hopes of receiving better education opportunities. During those times, there were better opportunities for blacks in the northern part of the country. Still, Morgan’s formal education never surpassed elementary school. He moved to Cincinnati and then to Cleveland, working as a handyman in order to make ends meet. In Cleveland, he learned the inner workings of the sewing machine and in opened his own sewing machine store in 1907, where he…show more content…
He marketed the product under the name the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Cream and sold by his G. A. Morgan Refining Company, which became a very successful business. Later in 1912, Morgan developed another invention. This invention was much different from his hair straightener. Morgan called it a Safety Hood and patented it as a Breathing Device, but the world would later come to know it as a Gas Mask. The Safety Hood consisted of a hood worn over someone’s head. A tube stemmed from this hood reaching the ground and allowing in clean air. The bottom of the tube was lined with a sponge type material that would help to filter incoming air. Another tube allowed the user to exhale air out of the device. Morgan intended the device to be used in fighting fires. He wanted it to help firemen enter houses thick with smoke and breathe freely for some time. The National Safety Device Company, of which Morgan was General Manager, was set up to manufacture and sell the device. The Safety Hood was demonstrated at various exhibitions across the country. At the Second International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation, the device won first prize and Morgan was award a gold medal. While demonstrations were good for sales, the true test of the product would come only under real life circumstances. This test came on July 24, 1916 when an explosion occurred in a tunnel being dug under Lake Erie. The tunnel quickly filled

More about Essay about Garrett Morgan: a Biography

Open Document