Lewis Howard Latimer – Illuminate

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Illuminate – light up

Lewis Howard Latimer. That’s a name we don’t hear very often, and we really should. After all, we use devices every day that he contributed to patents for, the light bulb and the telephone.

Lewis Latimer was born to parents who fled slavery in Massachusetts on September 4, 1848. He learned mechanical engineering drawing from his work at a patent firm and throughout his career worked with Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. He also designed his own inventions.

While working with Bell, he helped draft the patent for his design of the telephone. Because of his knowledge of incandescent lighting, patents, and electrical engineering he became a partner to Edison. He both promoted and defended his light bulb design.

Mr. Latimer also played the flute and wrote poetry and plays. He worked as a patent consultant and in his free time he taught mechanical drawing and English to immigrants in NY.

One can’t help but wonder where we would be if Mr. Latimer hadn’t partnered in producing patents for those inventions… I’m sure some people would’ve been in the dark longer than they were, with less people to talk to about it.

We create our future, by well improving present opportunities: however few and small they be. – Lewis Howard Latimer

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