RPX is pleased to commemorate Black History Month by showcasing this incredible group of inventors that were pioneers in their various fields of study.
Patricia Bath was the first African American woman doctor to patent a medical device, the Laserphaco Probe, for the treatment of cataracts; Garret Morgan was best known for inventing the first traffic light; Madam C. J. Walker was the first Black woman self-made millionaire in the U.S. who made her fortune founding a cosmetics line focused on hair care products for Black women; and Granville Woods was a prominent inventor and electrical engineer who developed inventions that were awarded 27 patents by the U.S. Patent Office. Because of his significant electrical inventions, he is known as the “Black Edison.”
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. For more detailed history around this celebratory month, please visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) website.