​November 20, 1923: Garrett Morgan Receives A Patent 

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Morgan received a patent for the invention of the traffic light signal. His invention was a hand-cranked mechanical sign system using signs that could be switched relatively easily by a traffic control officer. His device was relatively simple, yet had key additional safety features that many others at the time did not have.

In addition to having “stop” and “go” indicators, it had an “all stop” signal that could be used to clear the intersection to allow pedestrians to cross or to stop cross-traffic before signaling a different direction to proceed. It also had a “half mast” warning position to indicate general caution at times when the device operator was not present.In addition to the signs, his device featured lights and warning bells powered by a battery or a connection to a mains power source.

Morgan is also credited as the 1st African American in Cleveland, Ohio, to own an automobile.

Read more about his legacy at: Daily Black History Daily Black History Facts

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