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Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr. was an American inventor, businessman, and community leader. His most notable inventions were a type of three-way traffic light, and a protective ‘smoke hood’ notably used in a 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue. In 1907, Morgan established his first business, a sewing machine sales and repair shop. He soon expanded with a tailoring business and later the Morgan Skirt Factory that employed more than thirty people. His second major discovery came while exploring a way to reduce friction between sewing needles and woolen fabric. He found that a chemical solution he developed to straighten the woolen fibers of textiles also straightened hair. In 1913, he formed the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Cream Company that sold a line of hair care products.

Alexander Miles was an African American inventor and businessman, best known for being awarded a patent for automatically opening and closing elevator doors. He was awarded U.S. patent 371,207 on October 11, 1887.

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