In my last post, I told you a little about my family history and my grandfather’s love for flying. My grandfather’s love for flying fueled what I think was one of his greatest inventions. Like most great inventions, they seem to either come from entrepreneurs that are really passionate about something or the desire to solve a problem that people have. In the case of my grandfather’s invention, it was both.
My grandfather was amazingly smart when it came to electronics. He graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Science in an electronics related field. He was a teacher of military electronics, specifically missile guidance systems at Lowry Air Force Base. So when it came time to prototype his invention, you can believe he had the skills he needed.
When I first heard about my grandfather’s invention, I was completely blown away. My grandfather spent a lot of time flying and one of the thoughts he had was that if his plane went down or he had to make an emergency landing, how would anyone find him? It was this problem that led my grandfather to invent the Distress Marker Generator. The Distress Marker Generator was the forerunner to the black box that’s found on airplanes today. The Distress Marker Generator is designed to automatically broadcast a SOS so that rescuers can find a down aircraft.
In 1959, my grandfather formed the K-Alpha Corporation to market his invention. My grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there. He also purchased a facility to manufacture the device as well. My grandfather’s invention was featured in the November 1962 issue of Ebony Magazine. He and his invention were also featured in a couple other newspapers as well.
Although opportunities were limited to minorities in the 1950’s and 1960’s, I’m still really proud of what my grandfather achieved and how he helped pave the way for the future and how he set in motion a passion for technology in the Slaughter family. Because of the innovation of people like my grandfather, I have the opportunity to do the things that I love, like help small business owners get a great mobile friendly website at an affordable price. I am the legacy of my grandfather.
Josh is owner and lead developer at Clicks & Mortar Websites. He's an expert in designing and developing websites and loves helping other entreprenuers create a great first impression online. Learn more about working with Josh and his team here.