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Three Black Innovators to be Honored at National Inventors Hall of Fame 2023 Induction


Robert Bryant

Three Black innovators are set to be honored at the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Induction Ceremony on Oct. 26, 2023 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. Robert Bryant (born 1962), Marjorie Stewart Joyner (1896 - 1994) and James A. Parsons, Jr. (1900 - 1989), each of whom is African American, are three of the sixteen NIHF Class of 2023 Inductees. Bryant, 61 years old, is a metallurgist who invented a polymer called LaRC-SI (Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide), which is used as an insulation material for leads in implantable cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices.

Joyner and Parsons are recognized by the organization as “historical” innovators. They are being posthumously inducted by NIHF.

Joyner invented a permanent wave machine and was a leading figure in the beauty industry as a beautician, salon owner, instructor and executive for the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Co.


Parsons earned eight patents in the development and application of noncorrosive metals. After that, he worked on developing the steel formulation that would come to be known as Durimet 20, also known as Alloy 20. Durimet 20 is balanced to provide greater sulfuric acid resistance over conventional stainless steels. It also maintains equal or superior resistance to many other important corrosives. The 2023 Induction Ceremony also will celebrate the 50th anniversary of NIHF’s founding in 1973, when Thomas Edison was the sole Inductee. NIHF says the celebration is a black-tie event featuring a general reception which is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., with a formal dinner and awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m. The night is expected to conclude with an Innovation Celebration After Party at 9:30 p.m., where guests will have the opportunity to meet the attending 2023 Inductees. More information about NIHF’s new inductees is available at: https://www.invent.org/inductees/new-inductees.

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