Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Five African-American inventors who improved the world

Alexander Miles, Charles Richard Drew, Marie Van Brittan Brown, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Mark E. Dean. Our world would be very different if not for these 5 African-American inventors and their inventions. This introductory video from Business Insider can help kickstart more research about these five pioneering people in technology. A quick recap:

We have Alexander Miles to thank for automatic elevator doors, patented in 1887.

Father of the Blood Bank” Dr. Charles Richard Drew advanced medical techniques and equipment for storing blood plasma. This revolutionized blood donation and transfusion in the 1940s.

Dr. Charles Drew
Marie Van Britton Brown invented the home security system, a 1969 patent filed with husband Albert Brown.

home security
Dr. Shirley Jackson is a theoretical physicist and the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Via, “she conducted research on the optical and electronic properties of layered materials, surface electrons of liquid helium films, strained-layer semiconductor superlattices, and most notably, the polaronic aspects of electrons in two-dimensional systems.”

And without Dr. Mark Dean, chief engineer and one of the designers on the original IBM personal computer team, modern computing wouldn’t be the same. Scholastic summarizes his pivotal role in “creating the technology that allows devices, such as keyboards, mice, and printers, to be plugged into a computer and communicate with each other.”

IBM personal computers
Watch these next: Who invented the light bulb? and The Rocket Scientist Who Invented the Super Soaker.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Territorial History of the USA: Every Month for 400 Years

Rion Nakaya

The Oxymoron Maker: Cold ice cream inside a warm brioche

Rion Nakaya

Tiger Rag on a homemade Emphatic Chromatic Callioforte

Rion Nakaya

Rare 1920s films of All-Black Towns “Living the American Dream,” filmed by Solomon Sir Jones

Rion Nakaya

The historic 1913 women’s suffrage march on Washington D.C.

Rion Nakaya

Seed Launching Backpack, a 3D-printed, pollinator-friendly invention

Rion Nakaya

Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA Astronaut: I Wanted To Go Into Space

Rion Nakaya

Jackie Robinson, baseball pioneer and American hero

Rion Nakaya

Matthew Henson’s historic expedition to the North Pole

Rion Nakaya