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Three Black Inventors Among 16 Honored
Mar 09 – Mar 22, 2023
Majorie Stewart

James A. Parsons Jr.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) will induct 16 innovation pioneers whose inventions range from wheelchair technology to aromatase inhibitors as part of the 50th class of Inductees. Three of them are of African descent: Robert G. Bryant, Marjorie Stewart Joyner, and James A. Parsons Jr.

In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), NIHF will honor these inductees on October. 26, at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events: The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation. The event also will celebrate the 50th anniversary of NIHF’s founding in 1973, when Thomas Edison was the sole Inductee.

“It is an honor for the USPTO to recognize the 2023 class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We areproud to be a 50-year partner with NIHF, and we look forward to working together to support and recognize our world-changing innovators and entrepreneurs.”

A part of the ceremony includes the new inductees, who are alive, placing their names on illuminated hexagons in the museum’s Gallery of Icons at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. On the following day, October 26, a black-tie dinner ceremony at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., takes place.

The inductees of African descent are:

Robert G. Bryant: LaRC-SI (Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide). A NASA chemist, Robert Bryant developed LaRC-SI (Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide), a polymer used as an insulation material for
leads in implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. LaRC-SI enables small, flexible, reliable leads that are easier to implant, benefiting patient outcomes.

Marjorie Stewart Joyner:
Permanent Wave Machine (Posthumous). Marjorie Stewart Joyner invented a permanent wave machine in the 1920s. A beautician, salon owner, instructor and executive for the
Madam C. J. Walker Co., she established beauty industry standards and powerfully advocated for civil rights.

James A. Parsons Jr.: Durimet 20 Stainless Steel Alloy (Posthumous). Metallurgist James A. Parsons Jr. created corrosion-resistant, stainless steel alloy Durimet 20. Invented in the 1930s, the alloy is still widely used today in industrial processes that involve corrosive chemicals.
From Our Archives: Inventor Opportunities
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