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HomeDaily Dose of HistoryDAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Valerie Thomas - Inventor

DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Valerie Thomas – Inventor

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Valerie Thomas, Black Inventor, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History


Valerie Thomas was born in May of 1943, in Maryland. She showed interest in technology but despite her fascination, she was never encouraged to pursue her interest. And although her father was also interested in electronics, he would not help young Valerie with projects. Determined to learn about science, eight-year-old Valerie checked out a book titled ‘The Boy’s First Book On Electronics’ and created science projects on her own.


Thomas attended an all-girl high school which placed very little emphasis on math and science. Upon graduating from high school, Thomas became one of two women at the time to major in physics at Morgan State University. She excelled in her studies and once she graduated from Morgan State, she accepted a job as a data analyst with NASA.

Valerie Thomas, Black Inventor, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History


While working at NASA, Thomas proved to be a highly valuable employee. In the 1970s, she oversaw the development of the image-processing system for Landsat. Landsat was the first satellite capable of sending images from outer space back down to Earth. Thomas later developed the illusion transmitter for which she received the patent for in 1980. The illusion transmitter creates optical illusion images using two concave mirrors. The unique shape of the mirrors produces an image that appears real or 3D. This technology was later adopted by NASA and has been used in surgery and to make TV screens. Thomas continued working for NASA until she retired in 1995. She had held numerous positions with NASA, like Project Manager of the Space Physics Analysis Network which allowed her to contribute immensely to space exploration.


Thomas’ inventions improved the way we study space. She created a computer program that allowed scientists to study Halley’s Comet, the ozone layer, satellites, etc. Thomas has received a number of awards, including the Goddard Space Flight Center Award. She also mentored youth who were interested in math and science, teaching a new generation of scientists. Valerie Thomas, Black Inventor, Black History 365, DDH: Daily Dose of History  
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**
Thank you all for reading my article. I’m a part of the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses called We Buy Black. Similar to Etsy or Amazon, this website allows for Black-owned businesses to create a shop and sell their amazing products to the world! If you have a product, you should definitely join this platform! We Buy Black also has it’s Inaugural We Buy Black Convention happening this November 16th-17th in Atlanta, GA and I hope to see you all there. In fact, I along with hundreds of others will be wearing our official We Buy Black T-shirt, so here’s my gift to you: Get 50% off the official WBB T-shirt using my code WBB2018. Peace family! 

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