Black History Month: unknown and quirky contributions to society

Lonnie G. Johnson
Invented the Super Soaker water gun.
Holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering and his doctorate in science from Tuskegee University.
The Super Soaker water gun has profited close to $1 billion over the years.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger
Jan Ernst Matzeliger invented a shoemaking machine that increased and revolutionized shoemaking speed.
In the past, shoes were made mainly by hand. Matzeliger’s machine increased production to 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day, as opposed to 50.
In 1992, the United States made a postage stamp in honor of Matzeliger.

Philip B. Downing

Invented the protective public mailbox in 1891 in Boston.
Downing designed an improved mail box that prevented people from stealing letters and protected letters from weather.
Mail was one of the most important forms of communication back in 1891.
Today, e-mail is the most used form of communication. The number of e-mails sent per day is estimated to be around 183 billion.

Grandville T. Woods

Invented the electric railway and patented it in 1901.
This technology supplied electricity to trains, and it is still used today in many subway and railroads systems.
Woods patented more than 60 other inventions.
SEPTA is the nation’s fifth-largest public transportation system.

Dr. Patricia. E. Bath

Invented the Laserphaco Probe, a surgical procedure that has helped many blind people to see.
She was nominated for the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Keisha Frazier can be reached at


  1. I don’t tink enough people know about these inventors and they are just as important as the other inventors in history

  2. This is the best wbsite I have ever been to.These people are just as important as Dr.King and other successful people. I didn’t even know that these people invented things that we use everyday inour world, and cummunity. I searched up a peom called a world without black people. Go to and search it.

  3. Thank you for paying contributes to these inventors that have caused great things to happen in this world these days. They deserve great things to happen if they are still alive.

  4. I liked that they were inventor s many thing but what I really liked is how they didn’t just do it for themselfs but they did it for others to that’s very caring

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