Inventors are inspirational. Barbara Askins was an inventor and teacher and still is a chemist. Her invention has aided our emotional state, physical well-being, and intellectual knowledge about the universe. She invented a method to enhance underexposed photographic negatives.
Barbara Askins was born in 1939 in Belfast, Tennessee. She later moved to Alabama. She went to school and became a teacher. After her son and daughter were old enough to go to school, she returned to college. She earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She took a job as a physical chemist for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Her invention allowed pictures taken of the universe to produce an image with increased density and contrast. It made images visible that were invisible be fore her invention. Her invention has also improved X-ray images and led to advances in medical technology. Doctors could decrease the amount of X-ray radiation previously used. The aid to our emotional state came when her invention began to be used to restore old photographs.
Askins patented her invention in 1978. NASA has used it for research and development work. Also in 1978, Askins received the award the National Inventor of the Year. She became the first woman to earn the honor individually. She has become a member of the American Chemical Society, the Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the World Future Society.
Barbara Askins’ work is inspirational and has benefited society. Be inspired! Have a bright day!