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Otis Boykin Inventions

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Home » Otis Boykin – Black Inventor

Otis Boykin – Black Inventor

otis boykinOtis F. Boykin was an American inventor born on August 29, 1920 in Dallas, Texas. After graduating high school, Boykin attended Fisk College in Nashville and graduated in 1941.

Boykin’s first job was as a laboratory assistant testing automatic aircraft controls. After rising to the position of foreman, he left in 1944 to work as a research engineer at P.J. Nilsen Research Labs in Illinois. Soon thereafter, Boykin decided to try to develop a business of his own and founded Boykin-Fruth, Incorporated.

At the same time, he decided to continue his education, pursuing graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. He attended classes in 1946 and 1947 but was forced to drop out because he lacked the funds to pay the next year’s tuition.

 

 

Despite this educational setback, Boykin realized that a Masters Degree was not a prerequisite for inventive competence. He set out to work on project that he had contemplated while in school. At the time, the field of electronics was very popular among the science community and Boykin took a special interest in working with resistors. A resistor is an electronic component that slows the flow of an electrical current. This is necessary to prevent too much electricity from passing through a component than is necessary or even safe.

Boykin sought and received a patent for a wire precision resistor on June 16, 1959. This resistor allowed for a specific amounts of current to flow through for a specific purpose and would be used in radios and televisions. Two years later, Boykin created another resistor that could be manufactured very inexpensively. It was a breakthrough device as it could withstand extreme changes in temperature and tolerate and withstand various levels of pressure and physical trauma without impairing its effectiveness. The chip was cheaper and more reliable than others on the market. Not surprisingly, it was in great demand as he received orders from consumer electronics manufacturers, the United States military and electronics behemoth IBM.

In 1964, Boykin moved to Paris, creating electronic innovations for a new market of customers. Most of these creations involved electrical resistance components, including small component thick-film resistors used in computers and variable resistors used in guided missile systems,– but he also created other important products including a chemical air filter and a burglarproof cash register. His most famous invention, however, was a control unit for the pacemaker, which used electrical impulses to stimulate the heart and create a steady heartbeat. In a tragic irony, Boykin died in 1982 as a result of heart failure. Although his life ended too soon, Boykin’s inventions have had a long-lasting and positive effect on the world.

 
 
 
 

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