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The Boykin
The Boykin

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Inspired by Otis Frank Boykin

Otis Frank Boykin (August 29, 1920, Dallas, Texas – March 13, 1982, Chicago, Illinois) was an African-American inventor and engineer. He attended Fisk University and worked as a laboratory assistant at the university's nearby aerospace laboratory. He also studied at Illinois Institute of Technology, however he dropped out after two years; some sources argue that it was because he could not afford his tuition, but he later told a reporter that he left for an employment opportunity and did not have time to return to finish his degree. He was discovered and mentored by Dr. Hal F. Fruth, an engineer and inventor with his own laboratory; Fruth and Boykin would work together on a number of research projects. Boykin, in his lifetime, ultimately invented more than 25 electronic devices. One of his early inventions was an improved electrical resistor for computers, radios, televisions and an assortment of other electronic devices. Other notable inventions include a variable resistor used in guided missiles and small component thick-film resistors for computers. One of Boykin's most famous invention was likely a control unit for the artificial heart pacemaker. The device essentially uses electrical impulses to maintain a regular heartbeat.