Inventors and Patents From Cincinnati
Inventors and patents from Cincinnati are numerous and include a variety of notable figures. In the 19th century, the city was home to several well-known inventors. These men made their mark on the world. From the early days of the steam locomotive, to the self-starting automobile, and even to the development of an electric streetcar system. In this article, we will discuss these Cincinnati inventors, their accomplishments, and their impact on their fields.
Morgan patented a T-shaped pole with three settings
Garrett Morgan, a newspaperman, was the first American to patent a traffic signal. His T-shaped pole with three settings allowed drivers to stop and proceed more safely through an intersection. While this signal wasn’t the first one installed, it did have a few advantages. It allowed drivers to see a pending car, a buggy, or a pedestrian ahead of them before they crossed a street.
The traffic signal was created in 1899 after Morgan was involved in a terrible accident at a major intersection in Cleveland, Ohio. Before Morgan patented his traffic signal design, there were only two traffic signals at an intersection, and drivers had no idea when one would change to the other. His invention featured a third signal that would stop all traffic, including pedestrians. In 1923, Morgan sold the patent to the General Electric Corporation for forty thousand dollars.
While traffic lights are common today, the history of the three-position signal stretches back to Cincinnati. In fact, many of today’s traffic lights have roots in the Cleveland area. Garrett Morgan, a freed slave from Kentucky, was one of the first to apply for a patent on a T-shaped traffic signal. He became a leader in the community by founding the Cleveland Call newspaper and the City of Cincinnati’s NAACP chapter. Sadly, Morgan died at the age of forty, one year before the Civil Rights Act was passed. Although the world has changed a great deal since Morgan’s time, he is remembered as a great inventor.
After completing college, Morgan went back to his hometown of Cincinnati and took a job at a sewing machine repair shop. After earning enough money, he eventually opened his own shop on West Sixth Street. His success as a sewing machine repairman led him to expand his business interests to include a tailoring establishment, a personal grooming products company, and even a newspaper. His entrepreneurial efforts led to him becoming a wealthy man by the 1920s.
After being hailed as a hero, Morgan went on to tour the country and demonstrate his invention. One demonstration he gave was the first gas mask. Morgan and his brother demonstrated this device during the 1916 Cleveland Tunnel Explosion, where two lives were saved and four bodies were recovered. Despite this success, Morgan was never credited fully for his heroic actions. Fire departments across the country questioned Morgan’s claims, but he continued to demonstrate the benefits of his inventions.
Woods patented a self-starting automobile
Woods’ entrepreneurial activities started at an early age and he was able to secure patents for many of his ideas. He was also able to start his own business, the Woods Electric Co., with his brother Lyates. This was the start of Woods’ defining career as an inventor. Woods’ self-starting automobiles were not available until 1922, but by then, the technology had come a long way.
The early experiments with his electric motor produced a working model, which attracted the attention of wealthy Cincinnatians. He was able to patent this car and was able to gain the backing of wealthy investors. This invention became a popular model and was a hit with many consumers. The early experiments also produced drawings, which Woods showed to wealthy Cincinnatians and investors. He later patented the concept of a self-starting automobile from the City of Cincinnati.
Woods’s inventions varied over a period of 25 years, including an incubator for chicks and tracks for motor vehicles in amusement parks. In addition to his self-starting automobile, he also improved the electric current system for street cars. His grooved wheel was the source of the term “trolley car.” In fact, he held more than 35 patents on electrical and mechanical devices. One of the most important innovations in Woods’s patented car was the ability to communicate between two trains over the same tracks, which made conversion cheap and safe.
In addition to his invention, Woods’s story embodied the city of Cincinnati’s racial diversity and a lack of prejudice against blacks. His parents were both free Blacks and had little money to engage in serious manufacturing. They had been born in the South, but they had no access to a high-tech university. During the Reconstruction period, Woods found natural allies in the city of Cincinnati.
After graduating from college, Woods began his work life on the railroad and in a mill in Springfield, Illinois. While working in these jobs, Woods supplemented his education with readings at night. He was a member of the electrical engineering department at Stern’s Institute of Technology. In 1872, he worked for the Iron Mountain Railroad in Missouri as a fireman and engineer. His interest in electricity began here. After a few years, Woods relocated to Springfield, Illinois where he worked at a rolling mill.
Sprague’s electric streetcar system
Sprague was one of the first people to apply electricity to railway operation. In 1863, he rode on a steam-operated underground system in London and began thinking seriously about how to apply electricity to railway operations. His ideas centered on an overhead power system using an underrunning trolley. In 1872, he had similar ideas but came up against rival Charles Van Depoele, who was also developing similar ideas. Eventually, Sprague quit the Navy and went to work as an assistant to Thomas Edison, but left the company to start his own.
The West End Street Railway in Boston was the world’s largest streetcar system at the time. It had eight thousand horses and was considering a change in motive power. When Sprague’s electric streetcars were installed in Richmond, the executives were intrigued by their capabilities and began investigating other electric-traction systems. This led to a meeting with Sprague, who visited the Richmond installation.
Sprague’s electric streetcars drew the attention of Thomas Edison. The patents for his invention were the first ever issued. The patents were granted to Sprague in 1887. However, his electric streetcar system was not a success, and he died in 1934. However, he won many honors along the way, including the Edison Medal and the Elliott-Cresson Medal. Despite this, his legacy lives on.
Sprague’s electric streetcars were a major breakthrough in urban transportation. They allowed cities to grow more and put businesses in the heart of commercial areas. Frank Julian Sprague was born in Milford, Conn. and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1878. He later served on the USS Lancaster as a naval officer, and he filled notebooks with mechanical drawings of telecommunications and transport.
In 1888, Sprague’s first multiple unit order was placed with the South Side Elevated Railway in Chicago. This was one of several elevated railways in Chicago. The multiple-unit system was adopted for use in subway, elevated, and suburban service in New York City and Chicago. Throughout his career, Sprague continued to apply the principles of electrical engineering to railways. He worked on automatic railroad signaling systems and even served on the Naval Consulting Board during World War I.
Morgan sold his invention to General Electric
In 1921, a young engineer named George Morgan created a traffic signal that prevents car accidents and saves lives today. His inspiration came from an accident involving a carriage in a four-way street intersection. Morgan patented his invention in both the U.S. and Britain. In the 1920s, he sold his rights to General Electric for $40,000.
A few years after selling his patent to General Electric, Morgan opened a tailoring and sewing equipment shop. He designed and built the machine and sold it to GE for $40,000. He also married Mary Anna Hasek in 1908 and together they had three children. Sadly, Morgan died of glaucoma at the age of 53. His invention has changed the world, and his family is grateful for the legacy he left behind.
When the company began to sell the device to General Electric, Morgan was surprised and shocked that it was black. He was in a position to sell his invention to a white company – a rare feat for a black inventor. But he faced many hurdles. His mentor, J.P. Morgan, was a wealthy financier and he was able to make a fortune off of the product. Morgan sold his invention to General Electric in 1912.
After selling the patent to General Electric, Morgan continued to work as a tailor and sewing machine repairman. The friction of the needle into the fabric caused scorching and required a re-sewing of the garment. His solution was a chemical that reduced the friction between the needle and the fabric. The result was a product that improved sewing and lowered the cost of a garment. Morgan also invented a zig-zag sewing machine stitch.
Another of Morgan’s inventions was the safety hood. He saw firefighters struggling while trying to rescue victims and devised a way to help them breathe safely in a smoke-filled environment. The safety hood he developed was the prototype for a gas mask during World War I. It won the first prize at the Second International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation in New York City. It also helped protect servicemen and firefighters in the war.