Tag Archives: Invention


Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. (1877)

Born into poverty and having had little formal education, Morgan nevertheless became a successful inventor and entrepreneur. In 1914, he patented his “breathing device,” a hood that allows one to breathe safely in the presence of smoke, gas, and other pollutants. He worked hard to market it, especially to fire departments, and often demonstrated its reliability, most famously using it to rescue several men from an Ohio tunnel accident in 1916. What did he invent after he had gone nearly blind? More… Discuss


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Vending Machines

Vending Machines

First-century engineer and mathematician Hero of Alexandria is credited with inventing the world’s first vending machine, a coin-operated holy water dispenser. Modern vending machines were introduced in the 18th-century and were restricted chiefly to selling penny gum and candy. In 1926, the invention of a cigarette-vending machine started a trend toward selling higher-priced merchandise, and soft drink and nickel-candy machines soon followed. What unusual vending machines can be found today? More… Discuss