Did you know Black designers, engineers, and innovators created some of the most important innovations of the automotive industry and that many of today’s automotive advancements wouldn’t be possible without the achievements of Black Americans in Science and Engineering?
The article “Recognizing Black pioneers of the automotive industry,” recently published on Bankrate.com, examines the significant contributions of a few African American inventors, designers, and engineers in the automotive industry, including:
- George Washington Carver, the first Black student and faculty member at Iowa State Agricultural College, created a synthetic rubber made from sweet potatoes
- Garrett Morgan, son of two previously enslaved persons and inventor of the first patented three-bulb stoplight
- Frederick McKinley Jones, an automotive mechanic, created and patented technology to refrigerate freight trucks
- McKinley Thompson, Jr., first Black designer hired at the Ford Motor Company and helped create the designs for the Mustang, Bronco, and Thunderbird
- Charles Richard Patterson/C.R. Patterson & Sons, the first and only Black-owned care manufacturer of its time, founded in 1915
- Richard Spikes patented and developed the automatic shift gear for automobiles and designed an automatic safety brake