On August 29th, 1929 Otis F. Boykin was born in Dallas, Texas to working class parents. Boykin graduated from Booker T. Washington High School as Valedictorian. He then traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Fisk University where he would graduate in 1941. After graduation he began working with the Majestic Radio and TV Corporation in Chicago, Illinois, testing automatic aircraft controls. Boykin would eventually leave Majestic after three years and began working as a research engineer with the P.J. Nilsen Research Laboratories. His next move was to create his own company Boykin-Fruth Inc., while pursuing his master’s degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Boykin did not complete his graduate studies but still managed to leave his mark in history.
He began creating the electronic resistor, a piece that controls the flow of electricity from its source to its destination. In 1959 Boykin received a patent for his invention the wire precision resistor, two years later he created a more affordable resistor the could withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. Boykins invention was in high demand by electronic manufacturing companies, and the U.S Military. The resistor was used in televisions, radios and other household items, and it outperformed other resistors on the market. Boykin also used his genius to create a control unit for the pacemaker, which uses electrical impulses that stimulate a person’s heartbeat.
In 1964 Boykin moved to Paris and continued to create and improve on his inventions. He created resistors that could be used in guided missiles and computers. He also created the chemical air filter, the bullet-proof cash register, and the electrical resistance capacitor. Boykin held over 28 patents in career and helped changed the way Americans lived their lives. He was not only an innovator but he was a brave man who trusted his abilities and took his life into his own hands. Electrical companies such as IBM were lining up to do business with Boykins because of his electrical resistors. Mr. Otis Boykin, we proudly stand on your shoulders.
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