10 Black Invention Myths



Wow! ... Apparently blacks have given soooo much to White Civilisation … should I laugh or cry?

Let’s take a quick look at just 10 of these Gibs:

1.
Traffic Signal


Invented by Garrett A. Morgan in 1923? - Nope.

The first known traffic signal appeared in London in 1868 near the Houses of Parliament. Designed by JP Knight, it featured two semaphore arms and two gas lamps. The earliest electric traffic lights include Lester Wire's two-color version set up in Salt Lake City circa 1912, James Hoge's system (US patent #1,251,666) installed in Cleveland by the American Traffic Signal Company in 1914, and William Potts' 4-way red-yellow-green lights introduced in Detroit beginning in 1920. New York City traffic towers began flashing three-color signals also in 1920.

Garrett Morgan's cross-shaped, crank-operated semaphore was not among the first half-hundred patented traffic signals, nor was it "automatic" as is sometimes claimed, nor did it play any part in the evolution of the modern traffic light.

2.
Gas Mask

Invented by Garrett Morgan in 1914? - Nope.

The invention of the gas mask predates Morgan's breathing device by several decades. Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s, among many other inventors prior to World War I.

3.
Peanut Butter


George Washington Carver (who began his peanut research in 1903)? - Nope.

Peanuts, which are native to the New World tropics, were mashed into paste by Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Evidence of modern peanut butter comes from US patent #306727 issued to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec in 1884, for a process of milling roasted peanuts between heated surfaces until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state." As the product cooled, it set into what Edson described as "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment."
In 1890, George A. Bayle Jr., owner of a food business in St. Louis, manufactured peanut butter and sold it out of barrels. J.H. Kellogg, of cereal fame, secured US patent #580787 in 1897 for his "Process of Preparing Nutmeal," which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called "nut-butter."

4.
Automatic Lubricator, "Real McCoy"


Elijah McCoy revolutionized industry in 1872 by inventing the first device to automatically oil machinery? - Nope.
The phrase "Real McCoy" arose to distinguish Elijah's inventions from cheap imitations? - Nope.

 The oil cup, which automatically delivers a steady trickle of lubricant to machine parts while the machine is running, predates McCoy's career; a description of one appears in the May 6, 1848 issue of Scientific American.

The automatic "displacement lubricator" for steam engines was developed in 1860 by John Ramsbottom of England, and notably improved in 1862 by James Roscoe of the same country. The "hydrostatic" lubricator originated no later than 1871.Variants of the phrase Real McCoy appear in Scottish literature dating back to at least 1856 — well before Elijah McCoy could have been involved.

5.
Refrigerated Truck


Frederick Jones (with Joseph Numero) in 1938? - Nope.
Did Jones change America's eating habits by making possible the long-distance shipment of perishable foods? - Nope.

Refrigerated ships and railcars had been moving perishables across oceans and continents even before Jones was born. Trucks with mechanically refrigerated cargo spaces appeared on the roads at least as early as the late 1920s. Further development of truck refrigeration was more a process of gradual evolution than radical change.

6.
Blood Plasma


Did Charles Drew "discover" (in about 1940) that plasma could be separated and stored apart from the rest of the blood, thereby revolutionizing transfusion medicine? - Nope.

The possibility of using blood plasma for transfusion purposes was known at least since 1918, when English physician Gordon R. Ward suggested it in a medical journal. In the mid-1930s, John Elliott advanced the idea, emphasizing plasma's advantages in shelf life and donor-recipient compatibility, and in 1939 he and two colleagues reported having used stored plasma in 191 transfusions.
Charles Drew was not responsible for any breakthrough scientific or medical discovery; his main career achievement lay in supervising or co-supervising major programs for the collection and shipment of blood and plasma.


7.
Washington DC city plan


Benjamin Banneker? - Nope.

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant created the layout of Washington DC. Banneker assisted Andrew Ellicott in the survey of the federal territory, but played no direct role in the actual planning of the city. The story of Banneker reconstructing the city design from memory after L'Enfant ran away with the plans (with the implication that the project would have failed if not for Banneker) has been debunked by historians.

8.
Air Brake / Automatic Air Brake


Granville Woods in 1904? - Nope.

In 1869, a 22-year-old George Westinghouse received US patent #88929 for a brake device operated by compressed air, and in the same year organized the Westinghouse Air Brake Company.
Many of the 361 patents he accumulated during his career were for air brake variations and improvements, including his first "automatic" version in 1872 (US #124404).

9.
Air Conditioner


Frederick Jones in 1949? - Nope.

Dr. Willis Carrier built the first machine to control both the temperature and humidity of indoor air. He received the first of many patents in 1906 (US patent #808897, for the "Apparatus for Treating Air").
In 1911 he published the formulae that became the scientific basis for air conditioning design, and four years later formed the Carrier Engineering Corporation to develop and manufacture AC systems.

10.
Automatic Transmission / Gearshift


Richard Spikes in 1932? - Nope.

The first automatic-transmission automobile to enter the market was designed by the Sturtevant brothers of Massachusetts in 1904. US Patent #766551 was the first of several patents on their gearshift mechanism.
Automatic transmission technology continued to develop, spawning hundreds of patents and numerous experimental units; but because of cost, reliability issues and an initial lack of demand, several decades passed before vehicles with automatic transmission became common on the roads.


More black Gibs to follow - Stay tuned!