Garrett Morgon was born on March 4, 1877, in Clayville, Kentucky. Garrett was the second child in the Morgon family. Garrett got his name from his maternal grandfather. Garrett’s mother was named Eliza Reed.
She was the daughter of the Reverend Garrett Reed. He was the minister of the church where Garrett was baptized. Garrett attended Branch Elementary School in Clayville. He only attended school for the first three months, he worked in the fields for the other nine months.
Garrett would burn inside when he thought of having to go back to the fields to work. When he was fifteen, he asked his parents if he could leave to go on his own, so they both agreed. So Garrett left his home in Clayville and left for Cincinnati, Ohio where he worked as a handyman for a while for a white landowner.
He saw no future in this, so he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he only arrived with only a dime. Soon after he invented the safety mask ( The Safety Hood), he came up with a new device.
One day he saw an accident between a carriage & an automobile & with the growing number of automobiles on the streets he said “Why not have electrical light signals at intersections with different colored lights as signals for stopping or going”? The first-born traffic light signal system (which is now used all over the world), was first used on November 1923 (U.S. Patent number 1,475,024).
The traffic signals were bought from Garrett to GE (General Electric) corporation for the sum of $40,000. Before his death, Garrett’s traffic signal was cited by the U.S. government for inventing the first traffic signal. After two years of illness, on July 27, 1963, Garrett died at the age of eighty-six. Garrett’s life was a long, happy, and extremely useful one. The world is safer because of his long work!