Monday, February 20, 2006

Henry T. Sampson, Ph.D.

Image hosting by Photobucket What do this man and Henry T. Sampson have in common?

Neither invented the cellular phone; both have an interest in blacks' roles in film.

My fifth-grader was assigned to do a report on Henry T. Sampson for Black History Month. The teacher's list declares Dr. Sampson invented the cellular phone. Um, nope.

According to Dr. Sampson, his invention -- 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. He also holds three patents concerning solid rocket motors and one on the direct conversion of nuclear energy into electricity. Dr. Sampson has written more than ten technical papers in rocket propulsion, direct conversion of nuclear energy to electricity and computer simulation of electrical systems. He also pioneered a study of internal ballistics of solid rocket motors using high-speed photography -- not to mention several books on the history of blacks in film (hence my contrived connection to Sherman Hemsley).

Dr. Sampson was born in 1934 in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson State University is the home of the Henry J. Sampson Library. Over 150,000 square feet, The Henry T. Sampson Library houses in excess of one million resource items including several specialized collections.

This amazing gentleman earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, two master's degrees (engineering and nuclear engineering), and a doctorate degree in Nuclear Engineering from UCLA. He is 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.

Books written by Dr. Sampson include:

  • Blacks in Blackface: A Source Book on Early Black Musical Shows

  • Ghost Walks: A Chronological History of Blacks in Show Business, 1865-1910 - An impressive assortment of theatrical reviews and articles culled from the African-American press of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, carefully arranged and thoroughly indexed, with countless photographs and reproductions.

  • Blacks in Black and White Traces the history of the black film industry from its beginnings around 1910 to its demise in 1950.

  • That's Enough Folks (Hardcover - June 25, 1998) The first and only book to detail the history of Black images in animated cartoons.

  • Swingin on the Ether Waves (Hardcover - July 2005) - Documents the historical contributions of African American to broadcasting in The United States over a period beginning with the birth of commercial radio in the 1920s and ending in 1955. (2528 pages) (list price $395.00)

Henry T. Sampson's name belongs on every list of black accomplishments. He's a brilliant scientist, engineer, and much more. What a shame that American children are erroneously taught that Dr. Sampson invented the cellular phone when his real contributions are so much more noteworthy.


Anonymous said...

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Sharon Hurlbut said...

Wow Ginger, thanks for sharing this. Not only am I in awe of this amazing man and his accomplishment, but I'm also deeply chagrined at this country's pathetic educational system. I find myself confronted daily with errors of grammar, punctuation, and information in the media as well as in works of fiction. You have proven that point clearly here. Excellent post!

Ginger said...

I too feel frustrated, in particular when teachers seek to educate our children with clearly erroneous facts. Blacks and women, as well as other non-white-males have contributed significantly to society. I think it's disrespectful and perpetuates a disregard for those contributions when teachers don't bother getting the facts straight.

One small step...

Ginger said...

Mr. Sahman, I did go to the site and listened to both your songs. Very nice! Thank you for sharing your music. :)

BlacksandWhitestogetherforever said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
YourResearchSkillsAreTerribad said...

In the future more research might clear up your confusion. According to IEEE's own historical website:

On 6 July 1971, Dr. Sampson invented the "gamma-electric cell", which pertains to Nuclear Reactor use. This invention produces stable high-voltage output and current to detect radiation in the ground. The gamma-electric cell made it possible to send and receive audio signals via radio waves without wires; therefore, Henry Sampson has also been credited as the inventor of a cell phone, which became available in 1983.

Seeing as how the scientific community decided to give him credit for the invention based on these facts, I can completely understand why a blogger's assumptions should shoot that achievement down. Accuracy and objectivity fail IMO.

Anonymous said...

i am a 6th grader and i don't apprieciate ur language. like ur kid i am doing a timeline project on black history month too. i also agree with u please keep me posted if that racist piece of crap thinks that there are any problems with black people. P.S. i am a white person that hates racism. by:Christian Lea

Anonymous said...

when did henry die if he is dead

Anonymous said...

Technically he did invent the cell phone. Because of his creation of the Gamma-Electric Cell, the cell phone was able to have been created. So it is possible for Henry T. Sampson to be credited for the invention of the cell phone, becuase without the Gamma-Electrical Cell, there wouldnt have been the invention of the cell phone.

Anonymous said...

It does appear that the IEEE is a victim of vandalism, much like Wikipedia. The IEEE site doesn't explain how the gamma-electric cell sends or recieves audio signals. I just does so we are supposed to take there word. NO.

It's simple. "The gamma electric cell converts gamma rays into electricity. Gamma rays are a type of radiation. Sampson patened this device in 1971.
The U.S. government has used the gamma-electric cell to detect radiation from nuclear weapons testing. Nuclear weapons are powerfull bombs that leave behind harmful elements when they explode. The U.S. government tested nuclear weapons underground. The gamma-electric cell converted the radiation left behind by the weapons into measureable electrcity."
In no way does this have to do with making audio signals or providing power to cell phones.
Henry Sampson is an highly intelligent and highly decorated man, but he did not invent the cell phone. The earliest patent for a mobile phone was from Nathan Stubblefield. Look him up.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to Henry yesterday (10/8/12) -- says his father is the Henry T Sampson for whom the library was named. His father was the Dean of Edu at Jackson State

Ginger said...

Yes, thank you for your post! Dr. Sampson was an amazing and multi-talented man. He brought so much to the world. His son should be proud.

Anonymous said...

I almost never comment, however i did some searching and wound up here "Henry T. Sampson, Ph.D.".
And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it's allright. Is it only me or does it give the impression like a few of the comments appear as if they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting on other places, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Here is my web-site ...

Ginger said...

You can find me on Facebook at:

And on Twitter at:

Thanks for your interest.

Best regards,