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James West | African American Inventors and their Inventions

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James West

 

Dr. James West is one of the black inventors that are originally from Virginia. He is best known for his invention of the Electret microphone. Many people in this day in time do not know that most of the microphones that are used today and telephones are based off of the invention that was created by Dr. James West.

With the help of Gerhard Sessler, James West was able to come up with the amazing invention and they even received a patent for it in the year of 1962. It was basically an instant hit because it was not only small and light weight but it also happened to be very budget friendly as well. From this invention Dr. James West was awarded with numerous awards including, but not limited to, the Fellow of IEEE and the 1995 Inventor of the Year Award (New Jersey). Not to mention the fact that the Electret microphone also lead to James West becoming a part of the Inventors Hall of Fame back in 1999.  Currently, James West is the proud holder of over 47 US patents and over 200 foreign patents all stemming from his 40 year career at Bell Laboratories.

 

 

James West was by no means selfish either. During his lifetime he has also made it part of his business to stay involved with different programs that encourage minorities to be a part of the sciences like he was. In fact, back in the seventies he was a member of a group that was able to help over five hundred nonwhite students successfully receive degrees in science, engineering, and mathematics.

Currently, James West is still on a mission to help people succeed. In fact, he works as a professor at John Hopkins University at this present time as a research professor.

 
 
 
 

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