Morgan was born in Kentucky in 1877. With only a elementary school education, he went on to create many inventions that he got patented, including one for a face mask that served as the precursor for gas masks used in WWII.
Morgan had to hire a white man to pretend to be the inventor of his breathing mask so that people would buy the product.
When he was revealed as the inventor, sales of his product went down.
Morgan’s invention of a three-way traffic signal met great success. He had witnessed collisions at intersections where there was no warning between two-way signals that went from “stop” to “go”– inspiration was born. His patent for the three-way signal was sold to General Electric and was inspiration for the modern day Red, Yellow, and Green traffic lights we rely on today.
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