Morgan invented an early version of a gas mask called a smoke hood, and created the first traffic light that included a third "warning" position which is standard today. Morgan also developed a chemical that was used in hair products for hair-straightening.
Morgan was born in Claysville, an African-American community outside of Paris, Kentucky, to Sydney Morgan, a son and former slave of Confederate Colonel John H. Morgan (of Morgan's Raiders fame), and Elizabeth Reed, also a former slave who was half Native American and daughter of Rev. Garrett Reed. He had at least one sibling, a brother Frank, who assisted in the 1916 Lake Erie tunnel rescue.
Possessing a sixth-grade education, from Branch Elementary School in Claysville, Morgan moved at the age of 14 to Cincinnati, Ohio, in search of employment.
The first American-made automobiles were introduced to consumers just before the turn of the twentieth century, and pedestrians, bicycles, animal-drawn wagons and motor vehicles all had to share the same roads. To deal with the growing problem of traffic accidents, a number of versions of traffic signaling devices began to be developed, starting around 1913.
Morgan had witnessed a serious accident at an intersection, and he filed a patent for traffic control device having a third "warning" position in 1922. The patent was granted in 1923, though this was not the first system with a warning, a three light system being invented in 1920 by William Potts, and previous systems having audible warnings.
Morgan sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000.
According to wikipedia