In honor of Black History Month, we are looking at notable African Americans who made an impact on transportation.
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. Her act of courage kicked off a chain of events leading to the desegregation of buses in Montgomery and a larger movement to end segregation of public facilities nationwide. Read more about her here.
Elbert R. Robinson
Elbert refined the electric railway trolley. In 1839, he received a patent for his invention. Robinson’s invention focused on the trolley’s wheels and it improved the way trolleys took turns.
Garret Augustus Morgan
After witnessing a death in an accident between a horse- drawn trolley and a car, Morgan created the traffic signal. The traffic signal was patented in 1923. This invention made the streets safer for all and it’s still used today.
Granville T. Woods
Invented the Induction Telegraph System. This allowed trains to communicate with one another and prevented them from colliding into each other.
Andrew Jackson Beard
After losing a leg doing his job of linking railroad carts, Andrew invented the Jenny Coupler. It automatically linked carts without the need for a worker to do so.
The Safe Bus Company
Founded in 1926 North Carolina by 13 African American Jitney Bus Drivers as a way to provide transportation to their neighborhoods. Considered as the largest African American run bus company, and operated until 1972 until it was bought by the city.
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