Sarkis Acopian

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Sarkis Acopian
Born(1926-12-08)December 8, 1926
DiedJanuary 18, 2007(2007-01-18) (aged 80)
Alma materLafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania
Occupationinventor, industrialist, environmentalist, humanitarian

Sarkis Acopian (Armenian: Սարգիս Յակոբեան; December 8, 1926 – January 18, 2007) was an inventor, industrialist, environmentalist, and humanitarian.

Early life[edit]

Acopian came to the United States as an immigrant from Iran in 1945. He studied mechanical engineering at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.[1] He left Lafayette to serve in the United States Army. After he received an honorable discharge, he graduated from Lafayette with a B.S. in mechanical engineering.


After graduation, Acopian was employed by Weller Electric Corp., where he designed a power sander and a soldering gun that later became two of their main products.[2] He started his own company, Acopian Technical Company, in 1957. There he designed and manufactured the first ever solar radio.[2] The Acopian Solar Radio was promoted as "Revolutionary – No Batteries or Outside Electrical Plug-ins – Uses light for its source of energy" on the 1957 product's instruction sheet.[3]

In 1960, Acopian Technical Company began manufacturing low-cost, plug-in regulated power supplies that used vacuum tubes and plugged into a standard octal socket.[3]

Acopian Center for the Environment at the American University of Armenia


Acopian supported many non-profit agencies throughout his lifetime. "He has made numerous donations to national and international causes which have included The Acopian Engineering Center at Lafayette College, the Acopian Center for Conservation and Learning at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, The Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College, as well as endowing the environmental education program at the American University of Armenia and the Florida Institute of Technology.".[4]

In a speech honoring Acopian, United States Representative Charles Dent recounted a story from former senator Bob Dole. Acopian donated $1 million to the National World War II Memorial, the single largest contribution. In return, Acopian asked only for a seat at the dedication ceremony.[2]


  1. ^ "Remembering Sarkis Acopin '51". Lafayette Alumni News Magazine. Summer 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  2. ^ a b c Dent, Charles (2007-02-05). "Honoring Sarkis Acopian". Congressional Record. Retrieved 2008-05-21.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Acopian Technical Company". Acopian Technical Company. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  4. ^ "Armenian Philanthropist Sarkis Acopian Passes Away". Embassy of Armenia. Retrieved 2008-05-21.