Emik Avakian

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Emik Avakian
Dr. emik avakian.jpg
Born August 5, 1923
Tabriz, Persia
Died July 11, 2013(2013-07-11) (aged 89)
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Occupation Inventor

Emik Avakian (Armenian : Էմիք Աւաքեան; August 15, 1923 – July 11, 2013) was an Armenian American inventor and owner of numerous patents including breath-operated computer, a mechanism that facilitates putting wheelchairs on automobiles, and a self operating robotic wheel that converts manual wheel chairs into automatic. [1] [2] Many of his inventions were geared towards the improvement of disabled people's lives, and he won many awards recognizing these efforts. [3]

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken primarily by Armenians. It is the official language of Armenia. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.



Of Armenian descent, Emik Avakian was born in Tabriz, Persia in 1924. [4] [5] Avakian was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy, but this did not affect his cognitive abilities. [1] [6] In order to seek medical assistance for Emik, the Avakian family traveled from Persia, to Russia, to Germany, and finally settling in New York City. [5] By the age of thirteen, Emik was already fixing many electrical engineering problems around the household. [5] Although he suffered considerably, Avakian managed to graduate and attained a Magna Cum Laude degree in physics and mathematics from Eureka College. [1] He continued his education at Columbia University and graduated with a M.A. degree. [3] [4] Throughout his years as a student, Avakian had trouble communicating with typists who would write down notes for him. [3]

Armenians ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.

Tabriz City in Iran

Tabriz is the most populated city in northwestern Iran, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present capital of East Azerbaijan province. It is the sixth most populous city in Iran. Located in the Quru River valley, in Iran's historic Azerbaijan region, between long ridges of volcanic cones in the Sahand and Eynali mountains, Tabriz's elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, Tabriz is considered a summer resort. It was named World Carpet Weaving City by the World Crafts Council in October 2015 and Exemplary Tourist City of 2018 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Cerebral palsy A group of disorders affecting the development of movement and posture, often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. It results from damage to the fetal or infant brain.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary among people and over time. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing, and speaking. Often, babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl or walk as early as other children of their age. Other symptoms include seizures and problems with thinking or reasoning, which each occur in about one third of people with CP. While symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, underlying problems do not worsen over time.

He resided in Massachusetts with his wife Anne until his death. [1]

Massachusetts State of the United States of America

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.


In order to overcome many of the difficulties he experienced in life, Avakian created a series of inventions. One of his more notable inventions was a typewriter that would produce letter from breath rather than typing. [3] The typewriter would operate according to breath measurement and sound that would be blown into four microphones. [3] Although the mechanism was slow, it was still more cost effective to use the device than to hire an assisting type writer. [7]

Another significant invention was the information retrieval and storage apparatus which was a machine that could display library and archive information more quickly than other methods. [8]


John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.

In addition to his awards, Avakian was featured in renowned and local publications, including Life magazine and Mechanix Illustrated in 1952, 1953, and 1962.

Notable patents

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dr. Emik Avakian '48 a reason to invest". Eureka College. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  2. Partamian, Stepan (2009). Yes, we have: contributions of American-Armenians to the United States of America. Armenian Arts Fund.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Man's Breath Runs Typewriter". Life Magazine. 33 (22): 77. Dec 1, 1952. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Top Engineer Triumphs Over His Handicap". Sunday Herald. August 21, 1960. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 "The Teke: Tau Kappa Epsilon". 1956: 15. Retrieved 5 March 2013. Fortunately, Emik came of sturdy Armenian stock. His parents had reared their palsied son with much love, but without pity, and had traveled half the world — from Persia, to Russia, to Berlin, to New York — seeking medical help.
  6. Northrup, Eric (June 1953). "Electronics Wizard". Mechanix Illustrated. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  7. "Man's Breath Runs Typewriter". Life Magazine. 33 (22): 77. Dec 1, 1952. Retrieved 27 February 2013. Now he has perfected a typewriter which he can operate by sound of his breath blown into four microphones. It is slow but it is more accurate and much cheaper than hiring typists
  8. "Proud Win for a Man with a Will". Life. 52 (19). May 1962. ISSN   0024-3019 . Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  9. "Emik Avakian". Employment Security Review. 29: 33. 1962. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
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  12. "Apparatus and System for Interconnecting Circuits and Electronic Components" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  13. "Data Entry Devices" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  14. "Method of and apparatus for motorizing manually powered vehicles" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  15. "Vehicle Loading System" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  16. "Flow control system and restrictor for use therein" (PDF). Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.