2 Best Garrett Morgan Quotes from the Inventor of the Gas Mask

Garrett Augustus Morgan, an inventor and businessman, born on March 4, 1877, significantly contributed to public safety with his inventions, including an early gas mask and a traffic signal.

Morgan began his career in Ohio repairing sewing machines, which fostered an interest in machines.

His inventions include the 1914 patented Morgan safety hood and smoke protector, which acted as a primitive gas mask and the 1923 patented T-shaped traffic signal improving upon existing designs.

Besides inventing, Morgan also championed African American rights through his newspaper and membership in the NAACP.

He passed away on July 27, 1963, in Cleveland, leaving behind a legacy of inventions promoting public safety.


Related: Jonas Salk Quotes from Inventor of Polio Vaccine and Hedy Lamarr Quotes from the Actress and Inventor

In this article, I have collected the best quotes by Garrett Morgan.

Best Garrett Morgan Quotes


If you want to do something then be the best. ~ Garrett Morgan.

If you can be the best, then why not try to be the best? ~ Garrett Morgan.

So these were the 2 top Garrett Morgan quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Barbara Kingsolver quotes and Seamus Heaney quotes.

Short Biography of Garrett Morgan

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr. was a groundbreaking American inventor and businessman, known for creating the three-way traffic light and a life-saving smoke hood.

Garrett Morgan

Born in Kentucky in 1877 to freed slaves, he moved to Ohio as a teenager, where he started his career.

Morgan’s knack for fixing things led to inventions like a belt fastener for sewing machines and a hair straightening cream.

He founded the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company, selling various hair care products.

Full Name Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.
Born 4 March 1877, Claysville, Harrison County, Kentucky, United States
Died 27 July 1963, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Inventing a safety hood protective device and a traffic signal
Spouse Mary Anne Hassek (m. 1908–1963)
Children Garrett Augustus Morgan, Jr., Cosmo Henry Morgan, John Pierpont Morgan
Parents Sydney Morgan, Elizabeth Reed
Siblings Frank Morgan
Other names Big Chief Mason

His smoke hood became famous after he used it to rescue workers from a tunnel disaster in 1916.

Later, he designed a traffic signal to improve road safety and sold it to General Electric.

Despite facing racial prejudice, Morgan continued to innovate until his later years, even after becoming nearly blind.

He also contributed to his community, co-founding the Cleveland Association of Colored Men and supporting African American causes.

Morgan passed away in 1963, leaving a legacy of creativity and perseverance.

Quick Facts about Garrett Morgan

  • Morgan was born in 1877 in Claysville, Kentucky.
  • His parents were former slaves; his father was Sydney Morgan and his mother was Elizabeth Reed.
  • Morgan’s mom had part Native American heritage.
  • He had a brother named Frank.
  • Morgan stopped school after the sixth grade.
  • Moved to Cincinnati at 14 to find work.
  • He worked as a handyman in Cincinnati.
  • Hired a tutor to continue his education while working.
  • Moved to Cleveland in 1895 and started repairing sewing machines.
  • Opened a sewing machine shop in 1907.
  • Co-founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men in 1908.
  • Opened Morgan’s Cut Rate Ladies Clothing Store with his wife in 1909.
  • Started focusing on his own inventions around 1910.
  • Received his first patent in 1912.
  • Invented a safety hood smoke protection device.
  • Rescued workers from a tunnel under Lake Erie in 1916 using his safety hood.
  • Launched the National Safety Device Company in 1914.
  • Invented hair care products including a hair straightening cream.
  • Founded the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company in 1913.
  • Developed glaucoma and became functionally blind by 1943.
  • Continued inventing despite poor health, including a self-extinguishing cigarette.
  • Died in 1963 and buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.
  • His safety hood was used widely, including in a notable rescue in 1916.
  • Received recognition and awards much later for his contributions.
  • Invented a traffic signal with a third “warning” position in 1922.
  • Co-founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which later merged with the NAACP.
  • Founded the Cleveland Call newspaper and helped merge it to create the Cleveland Call and Post.
  • Ran for Cleveland City Council in 1931 but was not elected.
  • Was married twice and had three children.
  • Schools, a water treatment plant, and streets have been named in his honor, recognizing his contributions.

Top Questions about Garrett Morgan

Q: What did Garrett Morgan invent in 1923?

A: Garrett Morgan patented the three-way traffic signal in 1923.

Q: Who created the first three-light traffic signal?

A: Garrett Morgan, an inventor from Ohio, patented the first three-way traffic signal in 1923.

Q: How did Garrett Morgan make a difference in the world?

A: Garrett Morgan was known for safety innovations like the early gas mask and traffic signal, contributing significantly to public safety in the early 20th century.

Q: What was Garrett Morgan’s initial invention?

A: Morgan’s first patent was for an improved sewing machine, which led him to start his own repair business.

Q: Can you share three interesting facts about Garrett Morgan?

A: Garrett Morgan invented an early gas mask and traffic light, was born to former enslaved parents, and pursued education and innovation despite limited formal schooling.

Q: How would you describe Garrett Morgan to children?

A: Garrett Morgan was an inventor whose creations, like the gas mask and traffic signal, aimed to enhance public safety.

Q: What was Garrett Morgan’s first employment?

A: Morgan’s first job was as a handyman in Cincinnati, which he took after leaving home in 1891.

Q: What motivated Garrett Morgan to invent?

A: Morgan was inspired to invent a safety helmet to protect against smoke and gas after witnessing the challenges firefighters faced.

Q: What honors did Garrett Morgan receive?

A: Morgan was awarded the Carnegie Medal and a Medal for Bravery for his heroic efforts during the Lake Erie disaster, along with winning first grand prize at an international exposition for his gas mask.

Q: Who is credited with inventing the traffic signal?

A: Garrett A. Morgan is credited for inventing the traffic signal, with his patent granted in 1923.

Q: In what ways was Garrett Morgan a leader?

A: Morgan was a leader through his involvement in the NAACP, the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, his support for Black education, and his establishment of an all-Black country club.

Q: What lasting impact did Garrett Morgan have?

A: Garrett Morgan’s inventions, especially the gas mask and traffic signal, left a lasting impact on public safety and innovation.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar