DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that the all time favorite summertime childhood toy was invented by a black man? Yes, the Super Soaker, which I believe is summertime essential and one of the best inventions in the 20th century, was invented by Lonnie Johnson.
Lonnie Johnson is one of the most brilliant inventors of our time, and the Super Soaker is just one of his many inventions. Lonnie is responsible for over 100 patents, including thermoelectric energy and a thin-film lithium battery.
Lonnie grew up in Alabama during the civil rights era. He attended Williamson High School in Mobile, Alabama, which was an all-black school at the time due to segregation. Lonnie was ahead of his time. In high school, Johnson earned the nickname "The Professor" from his peers when he represented his school at a science fair held at the University of Alabama. At the time, Johnson was the only black student in the competition. He showcased a compressed-air-powered robot named "the Linex" that he built using scraps in his backyard.
After graduating from High School, Johnson attended Tuskegee University and earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering. He earned his master's in nuclear engineering two years later.
He later joined the Air Force. Despite his busy schedule, Johnson still kept his creative juice flowing by creating and inventing in his spare time. In 1982, he completed his prototype of what is now known as the Super Soaker. This invention was not only environmentally friendly, but it also had a heat pump that used water instead of Freon...