Friday, September 19, 2008


Henry Thomas Sampson - 1934 Inventor of the Gamma-Electric Cell

On July 6th, 1971, Henry T. Sampson invented the "gamma-electric cell", which pertains to Nuclear Reactor use. According to Dr. Sampson, the Gamma Electric Cell, patented July 6, 1971, Patent No. 3,591,860 produces stable high-voltage output and current to detect radiation in the ground.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 1956. He went on to the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with an MS degree in engineering in 1961; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, MS in Nuclear Engineering in 1965, and a PHD in 1967.
Mobile Communications took a big step forward in 1983 with the invention of the Cellular System regulating the portable telephones, which use radio waves to transmit and receive audio signals. Before this time, mobile telephone service in the United States, consisting mainly of car phones, was extremely limited because metropolitan areas had only one antenna for these purposes. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned only 12 to 24 frequencies to each area, which meant that only that many calls could occur at a time. These limitations often meant a wait of up to 30 minutes for a dial tone and a five to 10 year waiting list just to acquire the service. With the invention of cellular phone service in 1983, personal communications no longer depended on wires. In the 1990s it would become possible to connect to the Internet from virtually anywhere in the world using a portable computer and a cellular modem with satellite service. Technologies that developed from different fields, such as personal communications, computation, and space exploration often worked together to serve the constantly evolving human needs of the information age.
Henry T. Sampson worked as a research Chemical Engineer at the US Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, California. 1956-61. Henry T. Sampson then moved on to the Aerospace Corp, El Segundo, California. His titles include: Project Engineer, 1967-81, director of Planning and Operations Directorate of Space Test Program, 1981-, and Co-inventor of gamma-electric cell.
He holds patents related to solid rocket motors and conversion of nuclear energy into electricity. He also pioneered a study of internal ballistics of solid rocket motors using high-speed photography.
He was also a producer of documentary films on early black filmmakers and films, a member of the board of directors of Los Angeles Southwest College Foundation, and a technical consultant to Historical Black Colleges and Universities Program.
Sampson's Awards and Honors:
Fellow of US Navy, 1962-1964
Atomic Energy Commission, 1964-1967
Black Image Award from Aerospace Corp, 1982
Blacks in Engineering, Applied Science, and Education Award, Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers, 1983


Rob said...

He didn't event the cell phone. His field of study in my mind was far more complicated than the cell phone. However, it wasn't him but Martin Cooper that first designed the first mobile phone in the 1970's. Before him, the technology was developed in the 1960's.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. You've allowed me to correct this misinformation that was recently emailed to me. I agree that Mr. Sampson's work is far more complicated than the cell phone.