Garret Augustus Morgan Sr. (March 4th, 1877-July 27th, 1963) was an American inventor. His most known inventions included a protective respiratory hood (commonly known as a gas mask), the traffic signal, and a line of hair care products. He is praised for a rather heroic rescue in 1917, using his safety hood to save workers who were trapped in a tunnel system overwhelmed with fumes at Lake Erie after previous attempts had failed. He is also credited to be the first African American to own an automobile in Cleveland, Ohio. Garret Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky. He was a former slave and the son Confederate John H. Morgan and Eliza Reed. At the age of 14, Morgan left home in search of some sort of employment in Cincinnati, Ohio. The majority of his teenage years were spent working as a handyman for a wealthy Cincinnati landowner. Just like many young African Americans, Morgan had to quit school to work. Luckily, he was able to hire his own personal tutor and continue his studies. in 1885, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio for another job. He repaired sewing machines for a clothing manufacturer. Later, in 1896, he became betrothed to his first wife, Madge Nelson, but that marriage unfortunately ended in a divorce. The word about Morgan's ability of fixing things soon spread throughout Cleveland, opening various opportunities for him. In 1907, he opened his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop. That was only the tip of the iceberg; it was the first of several businesses he would own. In 1908, he helped found the CACM, Cleveland Association of Colored Men. In the same year, he married his second wife, Mary Anne Hassek, and the had three sons. In 1909, his business was expanded to include a tailoring shop. The company made coats, dresses, suits, and other types of clothing. Morgan experimented with a liquid that gave sewing machine needles a high polish and prevented the needle from scorching fabric as it sewed. However, he accidentally a liquid that straightened both fabric and hair. He converted the liquid into a cream and started the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company. Without his accidental success, there's a possibility that hair care products wouldn't be as evolved as the are today. He also made a black hair oil dye and a curved-tooth iron comb in 1910. Garrett Morgan constructed a safety hood and smoke protector after seeing firefighters struggle with smoke. His invention used a wet sponge to filter out smoke and cool the air. He was able to sell his invention around the country, sometimes using the tactic of having a hired white actor take credit rather than revealing himself as its inventor. His invention became known nationally when he and three other men used it to save several men after a 1916 tunnel explosion under Lake Erie. His creation was later evolved, and is still used today. Morgan also created the traffic signal. It patented in 1923. His device had two key safety features: having an intermediate "all stop" signal state to give moving traffic time to stop before signaling cross traffic to proceed, and having a "half mast" position to indicate general caution at times when the device operator was not present. Morgan died on July 27, 1963, at the age of 86, and is buried at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.