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Sun, 08.29.1920

Otis Boykin, Lab Assistant, and Inventor born

Otis Boykin

The birth of Otis Boykin in 1920 is marked on this date. He was a Black inventor.

Born in Dallas, Boykin attended Fisk University and the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1946-47.  He began his career as a laboratory assistant testing automatic controls for aircraft. One of Boykin's first achievements was a type of resistor used in computers, radios, television sets, and a variety of electronic devices.  He received that patent on April 7, 1953; US patent # 2634,352.  He is responsible for inventing the electrical device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus 26 other electronic devices including a control unit for an artificial heart stimulator (pacemaker).

Some of his other inventions include a variable resistor used in guided missiles and small component thick-film resistors for computers. The innovations in resistor design reduced the cost of producing electronic controls for radio and television, for both military and commercial applications. Other inventions by Otis Boykin included a burglarproof cash register and a chemical air filter. He worked as a private consultant for several American firms and three Paris firms, from 1964 to 1982.

Ironically, Otis Boykin, who invented a device to stimulate heart action, died in Chicago of heart failure in 1982.

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