It's February, which is also Black History Month (also known as African-American History Month). We love history here at Datavo and are proud to celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made and continue to make on a daily basis.
Black History Month had its beginnings in 1926 here in the US, when Carter G. Woodson (known as the father of black history) who was a historian and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced that the second week of February was 'Negro History Week'. They chose that week as it marked the birthdays of both Frederick Douglas (an abolitionist) and Abraham Lincoln. As the decades passed, Negro History Week grew in popularity it expanded to Negro History Month and by 1976 the federal government recognized February as Black History Month.
African American people played a big role in the inventions of both the landline telephone and cell phone.
Granville T. Woods patented a phone transmitter in 1885 called a telegraphony. He then sold the rights to the American Bell Telephone Company which Alexander Graham Bell owned who then patented the telephone which used parts of Granville's invention. He also patented the auto-cutoff switch.
Henry Sampson Jr. is an African American inventor that was awarded a patent in 1971 for a gamma-electrical cell, a device that produced high voltage from radiation sources. Also, the patent cited the cell's function as a detector with self power, effectively paving the way for the invention of the cell phone.
These are two inventions that everyone we know uses everyday but rarely do we learn any of the back stories on how or who invented them. So next time you pick up a phone, landline or cell remember Granville and Henry made it possible for you.