Wallace H. Coulter

1913 to 1998
Wallace H. Coulter (February 17, 1913 – August 7, 1998) was an American electrical engineer, inventor, and businessman. The best known of his 85 patents is the Coulter principle, which provides a method for counting and sizing microscopic particles suspended in fluid. His invention of the Coulter Counter made possible today’s most common medical diagnostic test: the complete blood count (CBC). The Coulter principle is used in quality control of consumer products, such as chocolate and beer, paint and toners, and was even used to analyze moon dust. Recognized as one of the most influential inventors of the twentieth century, Wallace Coulter studied electronics as a student at Georgia Tech in the early 1930s. Mr. Coulter developed the "Coulter Principle," a theory that gave birth to both the automated hematology industry and the field of industrial fine particle counting. His "Coulter Counter," a blood cell analyzer, is used to perform one of medicine's most often-requested and informative diagnostic tests, the complete blood count.