Day 4 James Edward West – 28 days of Black History in Technology

James Edward West

James West was a Bell Laboratories employee at Lucent Technologies; he specialized in electro, physical, and architectural acoustics.  His research in the early 1960’s help in the development of technology that is used in sound recording and voice communications.  That technology is used in 90 % of all microphones built today.

Dr. James West was born in Prince Edward County Virginia, he attended Temple University and interned at Bell Labs during his summer breaks.  When he graduated, he joined Bell Labs and begin work in electoacoustics, physical acoustics, and architectural acoustics.

His patent #3,118,022 file May 22, 1962 (along with Gerhard Sessler)  was approved January 14, 1964 it was for the electro microphone (what we know as the Condenser microphone).  West holds 47 US and more than 200 foreign patents on microphones and techniques.

West retired from Lucent Technologies in 2001, while I saw a posting that he was with John Hopkins University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, but looking through staff records I couldn’t find any current record of him.  I believe he must have moved on or retired again.

Some of the greatest voices on earth have been helped by this African American Inventor, image if he had never taken the path he did.

Electroacoustic Transducer

One Response to Day 4 James Edward West – 28 days of Black History in Technology

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