Over the years, a lot of inventions have made a significant impact on humans. Some inventors create out of necessity, some for money, while some for fun, but the bottom line is that for every invention they made, it makes your life easier and more comfortable.
But did you know there are many things that we use in our day to day lives that were invented by Black people? Here are some of the inventions you may not have known were created by Black inventors.
Mark E. Dean – Colored Computer Monitor
The first computer monitor released in March 1973 had a monochrome display, meaning that the monitor could only display one color. But in the late 1980s, one of the most notable inventions by an African American man was the colored computer monitor.
Mark E. Dean developed the first colored PC monitor for IBM. Dean is a computer scientist and engineer born in 1957 in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He graduated with straight A’s in high school also became top of his class when he studied engineering at the University of Tennessee. In 1997, he was included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is currently working as a computer science professor.
Mary Van Brittan Brown – Home Security System
One of the greatest inventions by black people was the development of home security systems. Before modern home security was made available in our homes, the first home security system was co-invented by an American inventor Mary Van Brittan Brown, in 1966. With the help of her husband, they developed the first closed-circuit television security system that used a camera to survey any potentially unwanted guests due to the rising crime rates in their neighborhood. In addition to the monitor, they also added a microphone to quickly speak to anyone at their front door without opening it, and a button that could contact the police in case of an emergency.
Dr. Patricia Bath – Laserphaco Probe
Dr. Patricia Bath was the first black woman to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. She started working on the Laserphaco Probe in 1981, and her creation became one of the most well-known inventions by black people.
The device harnesses the power of laser technology and offers a less painful but more precise treatment for patients with cataracts. With this invention, Dr. Bath was able to restore the sight of individuals who has blindness, even those who have been blind for years. As for now, Dr. Bath also works as a volunteer that offers eye care and treatment to underserved communities.
Alexander Miles – Automatic Elevator Doors
Before, elevator doors, as well as the shaft, would have to be shut manually before riding. However, if one forgets to close either one of them, people riding the elevator were at risk of falling down the elevator shaft. To prevent unfortunate accidents, Alexander Miles invented the automatic elevator doors, which are used mainly in today’s modern elevators.
Marian Croak – Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
If you’ve ever used WhatsApp, Skype, Google Phone, or FaceTime to make a phone call, you can thank Marian Croak, the inventor of Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), for that technology. Croak, who is currently Vice President of Engineering at Google, began working at AT&T in 1982. There she advocated for the move from wired technology to Internet protocol. She now holds 200+ patents, over half of which are related to VoIP. In 2013, Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International’s hall of fame for her contributions to tech.
Black inventors and their inventions have made a remarkable impact on society. Thanks to their skills and contributions, they’ve made our life that much more convenient.