3. Garett Morgan
Garett Augustus Morgan was an African-American inventor from Paris, Kentucky. At the age of 14, he prematurely concluded formal education and traveled to different states, before ended up in Cleveland. Morgan opened a shop for repairing and selling sewing machines, where he invented the clasp strap for sewing machines. In 1909, he proceeded by inventing the first hair-styling product.
In 1912, Morgan patented the first gas mask and two years later, won an award in the International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation. During the First World War, Morgan’s mask protected many soldiers from harmful chlorine gas fumes. In 1923, he developed the first automatic stop signal, which significantly improved the transportation safety. General Electric purchased the technology for $40,000.