Category Archives: Black History

Day 13 Kenneth J. Dunkley – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Mr. Dunkley created Three Dimensional Viewing Glasses (3-DVG).  His invention displays 3-D effects from regular 2-D photos without any type of lenses, mirrors or optical elements.  As I did some research for this African American’s Invention, I had to dig deep.  He didn’t invent 3D.  In fact this patent was not submitted till April 18, 1986 Patent #4,810,057

Dunkley didn’t create 3D but he did create 3D Viewing Glasses which allowed you to look at a picture and the 2D image would appear to be in 3D.  I can’t seem to find a really good picture of a demo.  I attached a copy of the PDF that shows the device.

Dunkley discovered that blocking two points in a person’s peripheral vision will cause an ordinary picture to appear 3-Dimensional.

A true to life working sample is what we are looking for, let us know if you run across a sample.

3-DVG image of the actual patent application – PDF LInk


Day 12 John Standard – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Amazing inventions usually call for people to take another look at that idea and improve upon it.  As in the case of Thomas Elkins (Day 2) help with refrigeration system, John Standard another African American looked at Elkin’s system and decided to improve upon it.

On June 14, 1891 a US patent #455,891 was created that took Elkin’s design to another level.  While this patent improved on the design of a refrigerator, it again was not the true creation of the refrigerator.

I would like to say for the record that these two men Elkins and Standard are the major reason refrigeration exist today.


Day 11 Granville T. Woods – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Granville T. Woods was born in Columbus Ohio April 23, 1856. He attended school till he was 10 he served as and apprenticeship in a machine shop and learned the trades of machinist and blacksmith. Woods realized that learning and education were essential for developing critical skills he went to night school and took some private lessons.

Woods invested his spare time in studying electronics, later he took a mechanical engineering course in an eastern college.  While his skills were great he couldn’t get anywhere in the jobs he was getting.

Woods was a great electrician and inventive genius, Woods invented fifteen appliances for electric railways.  In 1880 he had established his own shop in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Woods later succeeded in selling many of his inventions to some of the county’s largest corporations.


Day 10 Otis Boykin – 28 days of Black History in Technology

Today we talk about Otis Frank Boykin born August 29, 1920 he was an inventor and engineer. Boykin invented more than 25 electronic devices. One of his inventions was an improved electrical resistor for computers, radios, televisions, and other electronic devices.

Mr. Boykin also worked on one of his most famous inventions a variable resistor used in guided missiles. Did you also know that Mr. Boykin created a control unit for the artificial heart pacemaker. The pacemaker essentially uses electrical impulses to maintain a regular heartbeat.

Ironically Mr. Boykin himself, died of heart failure in 1982. I wonder if the device, he helped make, that saved so many lives, would have helped to save his own?

Tell us what you think leave a comment


Day 9 George Edward Alcorn, Jr. – 28 days of Black History in Technology

George Edward Alcorn, Jr.

George Alcorn co-patented a Method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer. Patent #4618380 issued on October 21, 1986.  He received his four year Bachelor of Science degree from Occidental College.  Later he earned his Masters from Howard University in Nuclear Physics in 1963.  An earned his PH.D in Atomic and Molecular Physics also from Howard University.

Dr. Alcorn hold eight patents in the US and Europe on semiconductor technology his area of research includes:

  • Adaptation of chemical ionization mass spectrometers for the detection of amino acids and development of other experimental methods for planetary life detection;
  • Classified research involved with missile reeentry and missile defense;
  • Design and building of space instrumentation, atmospheric contaminant sensors, magnetic mass spectrometers, mass analyzers;
  • Development of new concepts of magnet design and the invention of a new type of x-ray spectrometer.

Dr. Alcorn spent time as a research engineer with the Space Science Division of North American Rockwell.  While there he performed computer analysis of launch trajectories and orbital mechanics involved missiles.  He worked on the Titan I and II and the Saturn IV.