Garrett Morgan’s Contribution to Florida by Saige

Garrett Morgan was born on March 4, 1877 in Paris, Kentucky. He had 10 siblings and was the 7th out of the 11 children. Elizabeth Reed Morgan was his mother, and was of Indian and African descent, but nevertheless she was married to Sydney Morgan, a former African-American slave freed in the year of 1863. With Elizabeth (his mother) being a descent of Indian and African, and since Garret had that blood in himself it would play a part in his business dealings as an adult.

When he was 14 he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to look for a job, this was very hard because he was black. He finally went to work as a handy man to a wealthy landowner. Sadly Morgan only had an elementary school education, but with the money he earned as a handy man, he paid for a private tutor.

Soon after, he started work at a sewing machine factory and it captivated young Morgan’s imagination and it would determine his future. He found a job at the factory as a handy man and learned the inner workings of these machines and how to fix them. Furthermore Morgan eventually opened up his own repair business, because he obtained a passion for fixing and improving these machines.

In 1914 Garrett Morgan came up with a breathing device, or as he called it a safety hood. He made it for the firefighters because he saw that the smoke was giving them troubles. The prototype of the breathing device was used for World War I, and it saved hundreds of people from toxic gas attacks.

He also improved traffic signals. There was only one before the type he made, and it was located in London, and it only had two signals, Stop and Go.

Morgan saw a need to improve this, so he invented one that had three signals, Go Stop and Wait. This was very important, otherwise the people may have stopped but not waited, and it also was the idea for the yellow light we know today.

Garrett Morgan did many greats things in his lifetime, and I believe that without his ideas of the gas mask, people all over the world would be suffering.

Florida is known for many things, theme parks, beaches and nice weather. However with these things come people, and with people come traffic, really bad traffic. There are millions of people on the road this very minute, and every traffic signal has saved hundreds of lives. Just think of all the accidents that would happen if Morgan hadn’t improved the traffic signal.

Florida is an amazing place to live, work, play and visit because of Garrett Morgan and his traffic signal, because without it bad things would be happening, and Florida would not be as great of a place as we know it today.


Posted on February 2, 2015, in Student Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great essay!! 🙂

  2. Wow! I’ve never heard of him! Makes you think twice about how important gas masks and traffic lights are! Thanks, Saige! Great writing!

  3. That’s so interesting! I didn’t even know Garrett Morgan existed until I read this. He seems like a really cool person, and I definitely agree that he probably has saved millions of lives, especially here in Florida.

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