Skip to main content
Black History Month graphic

Black History Month pioneers

Harry T. Sampson

Harry T. Sampson

Henry T. Sampson is an African American inventor, best known for creating the world’s very first cell. 

On July 6, 1971, he was awarded a patent, with George H. Miley, for a gamma-electrical cell, a device that produces a high voltage from radiation sources, primarily gamma radiation, with proposed goals of generating auxiliary power from the shielding of a nuclear reactor.

Sampson, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, who received a Bachelor’s degree in science from Purdue University in 1956, also graduated with a MS degree in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961.

He was also the first African American student to earn a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering in the United States, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1967.

Black History Month at Lloyd's

Find out more about Black History Month at Lloyd's.

Mark Lomas - Head of Culture, Lloyd's

19 Oct 2022