In honor of Black History Month and Thursday’s National Inventors’ Day, we wanted to profile the incredible story of Lewis Howard Latimer. A groundbreaking inventor and draftsman, Latimer made amazing strides on inventions that remain crucial to our everyday – like the light bulb.
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Lewis Howard Latimer was an African-American inventor and draftsman. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, Latimer gained employment as an office boy with a patent law firm. He learned to use a set square, ruler and other tools, quickly becoming a skilled draftsman. His boss recognized his talent for sketching patent drawings and eventually Latimer was promoted to head draftsman.
In 1876 while a draftsman at Alexander Graham Bell’s patent law firm, Latimer was asked to draft the necessary drawings required to receive a patent for Bell’s telephone. Latimer later left Bell’s law firm when he relocated with his family to Connecticut; there he was hired as an assistant manager and draftsman for the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, owned by Hiram Maxim, a rival of Thomas Edison.Read the full story »