Black History Month in South Fulton will kick off with an exhibit of African-American inventors on Feb. 1 at Welcome All Park, 4255 Will Lee Road. Created by Sheliah Gray, the traveling exhibit displays 26 inventions in alphabetical order from A to Z.
The exhibit has been displayed in schools, churches, libraries and other venues since 2013.
“The exhibit exposes visitors to various inventions by African Americans and cultivates conversations about how these inventions impact our society today,” said Tony Phillips, director of the City of South Fulton’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “It generates a desire for some to become entrepreneurs and it promotes new interest and an increased awareness of inventions by African Americans.”
In past years at Welcome All Park, the exhibit has featured George Crum, inventor of the Saratoga potato chip in 1853, haircare mogul Madam C.J. Walker and Marie Van Brittan Brown who secured the patent for the video home security system in1969.
Modern innovations have been showcased too, including the
Super Soaker water gun created by Lonnie Johnson. To date, it’s one of the world’s bestselling toys.
Johnson, a native of Mobile, Ala., attended Tuskegee University and later joined the U.S. Air Force. While working as an engineer at NASA, he received numerous awards for his work on the spacecraft control system. He holds over 120 patents, but it was the success of the Super Soaker that led to the launch of his Atlanta-based firm, Johnson Research & Development Company.
The African-American Inventors’ Exhibit is free and open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Registration is available via Eventbrite.
Photo: Sheliah Gray has been traveling with her exhibit of African-American inventions since 2013.