2. James Edward West (1931 - Present)

Notable invention: Electroacoustic Transducer Electret Microphone

Looking to improve the microphone, James West built a more compact and cost efficient version of the mic by placing polymer electret film on one side, resulting in the conversion of sound into high fidelity electrical signals. His invention has been used across the world and can be found in most telephones and tape recorders till this day. West carries over 200 foreign and 47 U.S. patents based around microphones and techniques involving the making of polymer foil-electrets. He now puts in work at John Hopkins University as a research professor.