The Most Famous African American Inventor: Recognizing the Pioneers

Choose the inventor you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 08:03
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Today, we're diving into the world of innovation and inspiration as we rank the most famous African American inventors of all time. From trailblazers like Garrett Morgan and Madam C.J. Walker to modern-day geniuses like Lonnie Johnson and Mark Dean, these brilliant minds have shaped our world with their groundbreaking inventions. So, who do you think deserves the title of the most famous African American inventor? Cast your vote now, and if you don't see your favorite genius on the list, don't hesitate to suggest their name! Be a part of this exciting journey as we celebrate the incredible contributions of African American inventors and let their stories inspire generations to come. Don't wait, join the conversation and make your voice heard!

Who Is the Most Famous African American Inventor?

  1. 1
    George Washington Carver
    not listed · Public domain
    He is most famous for his work with peanuts and developing new uses and products for them. He is also credited with promoting crop rotation and soil conservation techniques to help farmers improve their yields.
    George Washington Carver in other rankings
  2. 2
    Garrett Morgan
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He invented the first traffic signal with a warning light to prevent accidents at intersections. He also developed a protective breathing device that became the basis for gas masks used by soldiers in World War I.
  3. 3
    Elijah McCoy
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He was a prolific inventor who held over 50 patents, mostly related to lubrication systems for steam engines and other machinery. His inventions helped improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs for industrial equipment.
  4. 4
    She was a pioneer in the beauty industry, developing a line of hair care products specifically for African American women. She also became one of the wealthiest self-made women in America at the time, using her success to support philanthropic causes.
    Madam C.J. Walker in other rankings
  5. 5
    Lewis Latimer
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He was a key figure in the development of the light bulb, working alongside Thomas Edison and later patenting his own improvements to the design. He also played a significant role in the development of the telephone, helping to draft the patent for Alexander Graham Bell's invention.
  6. 6
    Granville T. Woods
    William J. Simmons · Public domain
    He was a prolific inventor who developed numerous improvements to electrical and communication systems. His inventions include the multiplex telegraph, which allowed multiple messages to be sent over a single wire, and the automatic air brake for trains.
  7. 7
    Benjamin Banneker
    Carol M. Highsmith · Public domain
    He was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer who made significant contributions to the development of early America. He helped survey the boundaries of Washington, D.C. and published several almanacs that included weather predictions and astronomical data.
    Benjamin Banneker in other rankings
  8. 8
    Jan Ernst Matzeliger
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He invented the shoe lasting machine, which greatly increased the speed and efficiency of shoe production. His invention helped make shoes more affordable and accessible to the general public.
  9. 9
    He is the inventor of the Super Soaker water gun, one of the most popular and successful toys of all time. He has also worked on numerous other inventions related to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
  10. 10
    Otis Boykin
    AnonymousUnknown author · Public domain
    He invented several important electronic devices, including a precision resistor used in pacemakers and a control unit for guided missiles. His inventions helped improve the accuracy and reliability of electronic systems in a variety of applications.
    Otis Boykin in other rankings

Missing your favorite inventor?


Ranking factors for famous inventor

  1. The significance of their invention
    The impact and contribution of the invention to society and how it has changed the course of history should be considered.
  2. The number of patents
    The number of patents filed and granted for the invention is a significant indicator of their innovative output.
  3. Recognition and awards
    The inventor's recognition by peers, awards, and accolades for their contribution to the field should be considered.
  4. Personal background
    The inventor's personal background and the challenges they faced due to race, gender, and discrimination, which they overcame to achieve their breakthroughs, should also be taken into account.
  5. Innovation and creativity
    The inventors' innovative thinking and ability to create something new and unique should be considered.
  6. Commercial success
    The commercial success of the invention and the impact it has had on the global market should also be taken into account.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous African American inventor. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Inventor is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 165 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Inventor once every 24 hours. The rank of each Inventor is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous african american inventor

African Americans have made significant contributions to the field of science and technology over the years. From creating life-saving devices to groundbreaking inventions, their work has transformed the world we live in today. When it comes to inventors, African Americans have made a significant impact with their innovative ideas and groundbreaking creations. Some of the most famous African American inventors include George Washington Carver, who developed new uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes, and Madam C.J. Walker, who created a line of hair care products for African American women. Other notable inventors include Lewis Howard Latimer, who worked with Thomas Edison to improve the light bulb, and Garrett Morgan, who created the first traffic signal and gas mask. These inventors faced significant challenges due to racism and discrimination during their time, but their contributions have shaped the world we live in today. Through their hard work and perseverance, they have paved the way for future generations of African American inventors to make their mark on the world.

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