Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr.

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was born in Claysville, Kentucky back in 1877 to Sydney and Elizabeth. He attended the Branch Elementary School but left at the age of 14 and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. He worked as a handyman, until 1895 when he moved to Cleveland, Ohio. He started out repairing sewing machines for a clothing manufacturer.

He was so good at repairing the machines he started his own business in 1907. By 1910, he had 32 employees making coast, suits, dresses and other clothing. In 1916, he used a hood designed by him to rescue some workers trapped in a water intake tunnel 50 ft. below Lake Erie. That invention is the precursor to the modern hoods that firemen wear today when entering a burning building, helping them to breath while fighting fires. He also invented the three position traffic signal, although refined is still in use to this day.

What you may not know about Garrett is that he was an African-American, quite unusual for that time in our history. He also invented a self-extinguishing cigarette and hair care products.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray I've never heard of a self-extinguishing cigarette!!!!

Feb 23, 2020 03:41 AM #1
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Holy cow.  This talented man's mind must have been constantly buzzing with new ideas!

Feb 23, 2020 04:27 AM #2
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

He sounds like a very talented man and the world could certainly use more people like him.

Feb 23, 2020 04:28 AM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - Mr Morgan was obviously a man who had diverse interests and much creative problem-solving.  

Feb 23, 2020 05:08 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Was at a loss until the mention of the three position traffic signal. And, no clue as to why I associated it with Garrett. And, no clue why I did not know more. Enjoy your day!

Feb 23, 2020 05:16 AM #5
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

It was great that he used his talents to bring his ideas to the marketplace.

Feb 23, 2020 05:16 AM #6
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

With the national kickback to trade schools maybe we will see some more talented inventors.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Feb 23, 2020 05:55 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This was some accomplished man. Great story. TY for sharing.

Feb 23, 2020 06:23 AM #8
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, James... this is like reading about the Renaissance Man of inventions. I had no idea there was something like a self-extinguishing cigarette till now.

Feb 23, 2020 06:54 AM #9
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Thanks for sharing that and for pointing out that race does not matter when it comes to intelligence and creativity.

Feb 23, 2020 07:09 AM #10
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - another example the fact that an persons abilities are boundless.

Feb 23, 2020 07:23 AM #11
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello James,  I am sure that so many people are happy of him doing this  and saying lives.


Feb 23, 2020 10:16 AM #12
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - He surely accomplished a lot. Probably the traffic signal is his claim to fame but I would like to know what a self-extinguishing cigarette is and how it works!

Feb 23, 2020 10:20 AM #13
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good afternoon James,

What a talented man Mr. Morgan was, and a wonderful. example for all of us.  A

Feb 23, 2020 10:20 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Oh my gosh, James- what a creative and smart man!!!! I'd love to have been able to sit down and talk to him. 

Feb 23, 2020 01:31 PM #15
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

That self-extinguishing cigarette is quite interesting. Imagine the number of fires it could've prevented had it been adopted by the tobacco industry.

Feb 23, 2020 03:57 PM #16
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

A inventor who creates things that saves lives is truly a hero James Dray 

Feb 23, 2020 06:03 PM #17
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wow, what a diversity of inventions he created, and life saving in somce cases, too!


Feb 23, 2020 08:17 PM #18
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James, Thanks for sharing Garrett Morgan's story.  His inventions were very forward thinking and saved many lives. 

Feb 23, 2020 09:10 PM #19
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was certainly a clever and innovative individual.

Mar 06, 2020 05:32 PM #20
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James Dray

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