Black History: Special Delivery!!


Dr. Joseph N. Jackson

Joseph N. Jackson (1929 – ) holds 6 U.S. patents for telecommunications and fertility prediction inventions. Jackson’s first patent was for his contribution to a v-chip device that allowed users to block selected content on cable television. This type of technology is commonly used for parental controls. He also holds patents for TV remote control devices. Jackson was not the first person to invent the remote control.  The first TV remote controls introduced in the U.S. were created by Zenith in 1950.  The remote was called, “Lazy Bones”.  However it was not wireless.  It was attached to the TV by a long cord.  Consumers didn’t like it because it was a frequent trip hazard.   Development of a remote control patent goes back much further than 1950.   The first wireless remote control device, the “Flash-Matic” was developed in 1955 by Zenith engineer, Eugene Polley. 

Another one of Jackson’s patents was for a biorhythmic cycle indicator which was a personal fertility predictor. Jackson also holds several patents in the area of air traffic security and tracking systems.  Jackson was born in Harvey (Jefferson Parish), Louisiana. His parents were Ernest and Octavia Jackson. At the age of 17, he began working as a maintenance helper at an oil field. At 18, he joined the United States Army where he worked as a ship loader and a military police officer. Jackson received his GED in 1961. He attended television repair school at night and operated a radio repair business part time. He completed a business administration degree at Columbia College in Maryland and also holds a doctorate in Applied Science and Technology, from Glendale University in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jackson founded Protelcon, in 1993. The company was launched to distribute the Telecommander. The Telecommander allowed parents to have more control over the content their children were watching on TV. In 1996 Jackson launched another company, Choice Technologies as a research and development group.  Jackson is also the co-founder of the Black Inventions Museum. The museum is a traveling exhibition that highlights the achievements of African American scientists and inventors. The museum was founded in 1994. Jackson currently works as Patent Consultant and resides in California.