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Important Men in World History

Updated on June 12, 2011

Men are Important to World History

First in a series highlighting the contributions of men to the world by Dexter Yarbrough.

There is an old adage that says, "A lie can be halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on." Oh, how true. In many ways, men have been demonized in today's world. Often forgotten are the contributions that men have made during the continuing history of the world.

Because of the advent of PC (political correctness), many men have been castigated to the role of meningless - (this is not a typographical error. It is a new term that I am officially coining - so give proper credit) defined as a male having no meaning or function outside of the original reasons for his creation: procreation, protection and provider. Many men have succumbed to an overly progressive, left-leaning political desire to lower-testicularize (another term I am coining) the role of men in the world today and historically.

Unfortunately, many men have sold out others by trivializing the importance of men in history, as well as today, at the expense of chumming up to those for their own forms of gratification. The lie travelling around the world and continually insinuated is that men, in general, are bad or evil. Don't believe the lie!

This series of Hubs will focus on the positive contributions of men to the world. Men of all colors, politics and other leanings will be featured. It is my intention that we all learn from the past and present contributions of men, and by doing so, lessen the effort (intentional or non-intentional) to place great men in categories intended to marginalize and minimize.

Garrett Morgan

The first man I would like to highlight is Garrett Morgan. Garrett Morgan was an inventor and businessman from Cleveland, Ohio. He is known for inventing the gas mask and traffic signal, along with other inventions. Garrett Morgan hired a tutor while living in Cincinnati (his formal education never exceeded elementary school) and continued his studies in English grammar. Morgan moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1895 and went to work as a sewing machine repair man for a clothing manufacturer. Due to his proficiency for fixing things, news traveled fast, which led to numerous job offers from manufacturing firms in the Cleveland area.

Garrett Morgan opened his own sewing equipment and repair shop in 1907. This shop was the first of several businesses he would establish. He expanded the enterprise in 1909 to include a tailoring shop, which employed 32 employees. The equipment that Garrett Morgan made was used to coats, suits and dresses.

Garrett Morgan made national news on July 25, 1916, for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. Morgan's company, after the rescue, received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks. The gas mask invented by Morgan was later refined for use by the U.S. Army during World War I.

Garrett Morgan established the Cleveland Call, when he moved into the newspaper business in 1920. He became a prosperous and widely respected businessman, as time went on, and he was able to purchase a home and an automobile. It was Morgan witnessing a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage, while driving in Cleveland, that caused him to decide to invent an improvement to traffic signals.

It was not uncommon, during the early years of the 20th Century, for bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and new gasoline-powered motor vehicles to share the same streets and roadways with pedestrians. As you can imagine, accidents were quite frequent with these different forms of vehicles. Other inventors had experimented with, marketed and even patented traffic signals, however, Garrett Morgan was one of the first to apply for and acquire a U.S. patent for an inexpensive to produce traffic signal. The patent was granted on November 20, 1923. Garrett Morgan also had his invention patented in Great Britain and Canada. The traffic signal Morgan invented was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: “Stop,” “Go,” and an all-directional stop position. The "third position" halted traffic in all directions so that pedestrians could cross the streets more safely.

Garrett Morgan's traffic signal was in use throughout North America until all manual traffic signals were replaced by the red, yellow and green traffic signals in use around the world. It is interesting to note that Garrett Morgan sold the rights to his traffic signal to the General Electric Corporation for $40,000. Garrett Morgan was awarded a citation for his traffic signal by the United States Government, shortly before his death in 1963. Garrett Morgan is a man whose contributions to the world are historical.


George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver, the second man featured in this hub, is so profound that his influence is still being felt to this very day. As a great 20th Century scientist, Dr. Carver devoted his life to understanding nature and the many uses for the simplest of plant life. He rose from slavery to become highly respected around the world.

Dr. Carver is best known for discovering hundreds of new uses for crops, such as the peanut, and developing crop-rotation methods for conserving nutrients in soil. The products he derived from the peanut, soybean and other crops helped revolutionize the economy of the South by liberating it from an overwhelming dependence on cotton.

Dr. Carver was a well-educated man. In 1895, he co-authored a series of papers on the prevention and cures for fungi affecting cherry plants. He received his Masters degree in agriculture in 1896. Booker T. Washington, the founder of the Tuskegee Institute, hired Dr. Carver in 1897 as his director of agriculture.

At Tuskegee, Dr. Carver developed his crop rotation method. This method involved alternating nitrate producing crops, such as peanuts and peas with cotton. It was well known that cotton depletes the soil of its nutrients. Southern farmers then began planting peanuts one year and cotton the next. While many of the peanuts were used to feed livestock, large surpluses quickly developed.

Dr. Carver then developed approximately 325 uses for peanuts, including using them for cooking oil and as ink in printers. He then found that pecans and sweet potatoes also enriched depleted soils. Among the uses for these crops included synthetic rubber and material for paving highways.

Due to the many accomplishments of Dr. Carver, he was honored as Man of the Year in 1940 by the International Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians and he received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Simpson College as well as the University of Rochester. Dr. Carver was inducted into The National Inventor's Hall of Fame in 1990 for his accomplishments.

Dr. Carver, just as Garrett Morgan, contributed much to the world and should be honored among the greatest of men for his dedication to improving and enhancing life for others. 

Second in the Series

The second part of this series will focus on Thomas Jefferson. Stay tuned! - Dexter Yarbrough

Comments

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    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Dahoglund! I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It is a fact that so many things that we take see around us had to be invented by someone. I think we tend to forget those who invented things and never got a whole lot of personal attention regarding the invention. Nice tribute. up votes and sharing.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Great comment and observations, Jason. Thanks so much for reading!

    • Jason Marovich profile image

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      America has proven to be a castle conquered only by men and women of the highest character and knowledge. Though there are exceptions, and some rise to remembrance through other means, it is these two characteristics that your subjects mastered, that made them the men they were. And yes, many of us do look to these men for inspiration.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Cherrycrime I agree. GWC was the man back then. I love history as well, especially colonial, British and some Roman history. Thanks!

    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 

      6 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      This is such a wonderful hub, I love history, I watch the history channel often :-) I have to say George Washington Carver, such a great inventor, voted up

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Tom! Thanks for visiting and checking it out!

    • Tom T profile image

      Tom T 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Terrific Hub...looking forward to more in this series. Thumbs up.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      my pleasure, Dexter

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Scarface! It is always a pleasure to have a visit from you. Thank you so very much!

    • Scarface1300 profile image

      Scarface1300 

      6 years ago

      A facinating and educational hub my friend. Thankyou for this...

      Voted Up and Awesome

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hello PDXKaraokeGuy! No problem. Glad you learned something new. Thank YOU!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      7 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks for sharing. I always wondered who invented the stoplight. Thank you for highlighting som lesser known men. I know George Washington Carver, but Garret Morgan was new to me. Voted up!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Satice! Thanks so much. I had planned on writing more about men in history. I need to get back to it. Thanks as always for your great comments!

    • satice_j profile image

      satice_j 

      7 years ago from via the Bronx, NY

      As Eiddwen said, there are many more to be shared. I know there are many who know nothing about the men you've mentioned here. Great Hub, I hope to see more on this topic from you. Voted up and awesome!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Eiddwen! Glad you took a look!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      7 years ago from Wales

      A very interesting hub and here's to many more to share.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Ghost! I always appreciate you visiting my hubs. You have such great things to say. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      Ghost32 

      7 years ago

      Despite being familiar with gas masks as an Army vet, I'd never thought about who might have originally produced the first working version.

      Garrett Morgan--Good thing Jay Leno never asked me about HIM for Leno's "Jaywalking" segment. I might have come up with base ball player Joe Morgan or comedian Garrett Morris, but that's about it.

      I'll remember him now, though. Great history classes here; keep it up!

      "Meningless"...clearly related to "meningitis", as in "spinal meningitis". We probably don't have long to go before the discovery of SM syndrome: "Spineless Meningless". By no accident just one letter away from "meaningless".

      Voted up and across.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Feenix! Thank YOU, my friend. I am so happy to have someone like you as an inspiration. I am glad this society HAS MEN of your caliber!

    • feenix profile image

      feenix 

      7 years ago

      Dexter, awesome hub, truly awesome. And men are being made "meningless". I'm borrowing that one from you, my friend.

      And interestingly, the junior high school I attended in Los Angeles was named after George Washington Carver.

      Thank you for being straight up about one of the areas of P.C. that really bugs me. What this society needs today is more MEN like you.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks, MosLadder!

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Nice hub! I don't feel so meningless anymore...Loved the info on Dr. Carver.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Well thank you Epigramman! It is a pleasure to meet you as well. I am now a follower and hope you will return the favor. I look forward to reading your hubs!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ..thank you for the education and the enlightenment dear sir - and yes I met Muhammad Ali at a fundraising dinner years ago and managed to shake his hand - a true highlight for me - and it's been a pleasure to meet you too - you certainly have some very thought provoking hubs and I like the history and the culture behind them too!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Fucsia! Thanks so much!

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 

      7 years ago

      Great idea write a series as a tribute to these important men.

      Voted Up!

    • caltex profile image

      caltex 

      7 years ago

      Very informative and indulging even for kids! Excellent work!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much CMerritt! I have one on Thomas Jefferson that is available to read! Thanks again!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I love this hub and find it very interesting.

      I too would like to see more of your Men in History...

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile imageAUTHOR

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Pop! I plan to focus on some really great men.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 years ago

      Terrific article and I love the idea of a series like this. This is mighty fine work. Up useful and definitely awesome.

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