Automobiles revolutionized dating 20th century
The story of Banneker reconstructing the city design from memory after L'Enfant ran away with the plans (with the implication that the project would have failed if not for Banneker) has been debunked by historians.
Lewis Latimer invented the carbon filament in 1881 or 1882? English chemist/physicist Joseph Swan experimented with a carbon-filament incandescent light all the way back in 1860, and by 1878 had developed a better design which he patented in Britain.
Garrett Morgan's cross-shaped, crank-operated semaphore was not among the first half-hundred patented traffic signals, nor was it "automatic" as is sometimes claimed, nor did it play any part in the evolution of the modern traffic light. The invention of the gas mask predates Morgan's breathing device by several decades. The automatic "displacement lubricator" for steam engines was developed in 1860 by John Ramsbottom of England, and notably improved in 1862 by James Roscoe of the same country. Bernard Fantus, influenced by the Russian program, established the first hospital blood bank in the United States at Chicago's Cook County Hospital in 1937.
For details see Inventing History: Garrett Morgan and the Traffic Signal. Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s, among many other inventors prior to World War I. George Washington Carver (who began his peanut research in 1903)? Peanuts, which are native to the New World tropics, were mashed into paste by Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Kellogg, of cereal fame, secured US patent #580787 in 1897 for his "Process of Preparing Nutmeal," which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called "nut-butter." "Discovered" hundreds of new and important uses for the peanut? The "hydrostatic" lubricator originated no later than 1871. It was Fantus who coined the term "blood bank." See highlights of transfusion history from the American Association of Blood Banks.
Since many of the authors have little interest in the history of technology outside of advertising black contributions to it, their stories tend to be fraught with misunderstandings, wishful thinking, or fanciful embellishments with no historical basis.
The lack of historical perspective leads to extravagant overestimations of originality and importance: sometimes a slightly modified version of a pre-existing piece of technology is mistaken for the first invention of its type; sometimes a patent or innovation with little or no lasting value is portrayed as a major advance, even if there's no real evidence it was ever used.
Chris GB writes "I was watching a TV discussion in the UK this morning about people's views of what technologies have shaped the way the 20th century developed.
Suggestions from the panel included atomic theory, the microprocessor and genetics.
From 1880 onward, countless patents were issued for innovations in filament design and manufacture (Edison had over 50 of them). Williams repaired a wound not in the heart muscle itself, but in the sac surrounding it, the pericardium.Perhaps you've heard the claims: Were it not for the genius and energy of African-American inventors, we might find ourselves in a world without traffic lights, peanut butter, blood banks, light bulb filaments, and a vast number of other things we now take for granted but could hardly imagine life without.