This Little-Known Black Inventor Revolutionized Transportation

Early bicycle
Leslie Taylor Grover
October 7, 2021

Apparently, Isaac Johnson loved a good challenge. As a Black inventor in the 1890s, it was almost impossible for him to patent his work. Yet as brilliant as he was, he knew his work could change the world.

In Johnson’s day, transportation was limited. It was mostly rich white people who had the luxury of traveling in expensive horses and carriages. But Johnson had a powerful idea.

The bicycle had recently been invented. It was lighter, faster, and more affordable than a horse and carriage – but there were problems with the frame. Johnson noticed this, and decided to do something about it.

He invented a frame that was lighter – and foldable! This not only allowed bicycles to fit into smaller places, but it also made them cheaper and easier to manage. 

His invention meant that people who would normally not be able to travel very far could now go further for jobs, food, and better housing.

Johnson invented a revolutionary bike frame during a time when our people were thought to be inferior to white people. Unfortunately, this ridiculous lie still exists. So what can we do about it? Keep being the amazing innovative people we are, of course! Black excellence proves them wrong every time these days – the same as it did in Johnson’s time.

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