An electric lamp in which a filament is heated to incandescence by an electric current. Latimer witnessedLewis Latimer and Joseph V. While Edison invented the incandescent bulb, it was Latimer, a member of the Edison Pioneers, who developed and patented the process for manufacturing the carbon filaments. Their case had galvanized the Boston abolitionist community to its first major political activity.
Latimer was a leading engineer in the formative years of the electric power industry at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
He was a key member of the legendary group of inventors led by Thomas Edison.
As a result, Latimer and his two brothers were sent to a state school where residents were treated more like captives than children. As their parents had done before them, they gained their freedom by escaping.
Inat age 16, Latimer joined the Navy. His tour of duty lasted less than a year as the Civil War came to an end, and the Union discharged soldiers and sailors no longer needed.
Latimer returned to Boston, and was able to secure modest work with a patent attorney. He began as an office assistant, but when the firm discovered he had exceptional talent for drawing, Latimer was elevated to the position of draftsman, a key role in the preparation of patent applications because of the U.
Meanwhile, immersed in this arcane world, Latimer began to focus on the inventions themselves, and he became increasingly preoccupied with dreaming up some of his own.
First Patent Latimer married Mary Wilson Lewis inthe year before he was granted as co-inventor his first patent. The invention now seems humble—an improved toilet for railroad cars—but railroads in the s represented the acme of technology and Latimer, as an inventor, felt that new technology would be the core of his success.
In an effort to become well versed in machines and engineering, Latimer left the patent firm and moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he found work as a draftsman in a machine shop. Here, his talents caught the attention of Hiram Stevens Maxim, a prestigious inventor of many devices from mousetraps to machine guns, and founder of the United States Electric Lighting Company in New York.
Maxim hired Latimer away from the machine shop and gave him the job of producing drawings for electrical installations. Latimer was quick to comprehend the technologies common to the nascent industry, and he rapidly became knowledgeable in the field.
Noticing his de facto graduation from draftsman to electrical engineer, Maxim put him in charge of equipment production and installation, and then followed by recruiting Latimer to be a key member of a team developing a new, longer-lasting light bulb filament. This invention is now considered to represent a critical technical achievement in the evolution of electric light.
His unique qualifications as an engineer, patent expert, and active member of the industry allowed him to play a leading role in the group and more generally during his tenure with Edison. When disputes rose to the level of litigation, he proved a frequent and effective witness on behalf of the company.
Inhe was named to the Board of Patent Control, a joint venture formed by General Electric and its rival Westinghouse for cross-licensing patents. Edison had so much confidence in Latimer as an engineer that he commissioned him to write Incandescent Electrical Lighting, a Practical Description of the Edison System, which would become a standard reference.
InLatimer left General Electric to become a private consultant. His greatest honor came inwhen he was included in the formation of an elite group of inventors known as the Edison Pioneers.
He continued to work on inventions and patents until the early s, when he was slowed by failing eyesight and a stroke. Though he had dedicated his life to engineering and invention, Latimer also was a musician, a painter, and a poet of considerable accomplishments.
In retirement, he spent much of his time teaching English, engineering, and drafting to immigrants. He died in New York on December 11,at the age of His Flushing home is designated as a New York City landmark.Lewis Howard Latimer, a pioneer in the development of the electric light bulb, was the only Black member of Thomas A.
Edison's research team of noted scientists. Early Life. Lewis Howard Latimer was born in , in Chelsea, Massachusetts as the youngest of four siblings.
His parents were former slaves who had escaped from Virginia and made it to the free. Learn about Lewis Howard Latimer: his birthday, what he did before fame, his family life, fun trivia facts, popularity rankings, and more.
Fun facts: before fame, family life, popularity rankings, and leslutinsduphoenix.com: Sep 04, Lewis H. Latimer was a leading engineer in the formative years of the electric power industry at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. He was a key member of the legendary group of inventors led by Thomas Edison.
Early Life. Lewis Howard Latimer was born in , in Chelsea, Massachusetts as the youngest of four siblings. His parents were former slaves who had escaped from Virginia and made it to the free.
Jul 03, · Biography Lewis Howard Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on September 4, , the youngest of four children of Rebecca Latimer ( – August 13, ) and George Latimer (July 4, – May 29, ).