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african-american inventors

A display of many different versions of the Super Soaker on a table
Alison Guillory / WABE

Fulton County is hosting the African-American Inventor’s Exhibit at Welcome All Park on Feb. 4. 

The exhibit displays 26 inventions by several African-Americans in alphabetical order, “in order to increase awareness for African-American inventors and their contributions to the United States,” according to a press release.

Lonnie johnson stands in his labaratory
Alison Guillory / WABE

Chances are you’ve heard of the Super Soaker – the colorful water gun that lets you power spray just about anyone in your path.

Since it debuted in the early 90s, it’s generated more than $1 billion in global sales.

The man who invented the Super Soaker is Lonnie Johnson. He’s lived in Atlanta for the last few decades and holds over 100 patents for other projects.

When Johnson first came up with the idea for the Super Soaker, he was working as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Galileo Mission, but that was his day job.