Interesting Black History facts

By kate blue - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

History has credited Thomas Edison with the invention of the light bulb, but fewer people know about Lewis Latimer's innovations toward its development. Until Latimer's process formaking carbon filament, Edison's light bulbs would only burn for a few minutes. Latimer'sfilament burned for several hours.

His first job was as an office boy with Crosly and Gage, a well-known Boston patent law firm. He taught himself drafting and, after recognizing his talents, the firm promoted him to draftsman. One of his assignments was to make the initial drawings for one of Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patents.
In 1880, Herman Maxim, Chief Engineer and Electrician for the United States Lighting Company, who was very impressed with Latimer’s talents as a draftsman, hired him. Latimer took this opportunity to learn about the electric industry. During his tenure with Maxim, he invented an electric lamp with a carbon filament (1881). He traveled to London to advise the English on setting up a lamp factory.

In 1885 he began his association with Thomas Edison, serving as an engineer, chief draftsman, and expert witness on the Board of Patent Control in gathering evidence against the infringement of patents held by General Electric and Westinghouse. He was named an Edison Pioneer in 1918, an elite group of men who worked for Edison.

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