Celebrating the life and accomplishments of Lewis Howard Latimer.
Let there be incandescent light.
Lewis Latimer was an inventor, draftsman, engineer, scientist, poet, author, artist, flautist and philanthropist. Among his achievements, Latimer (along with his assistant Joseph Nichols) was the first person to receive a patent for the direct forerunner to todays commonly used light bulb. The new light bulb invented by Latimer and Nichols used a revolutionary method of manufacturing carbon filaments that produced light for extended periods. Prior to this patented invention, the electric lamp invented by Thomas Edison had no practical effectiveness because it used bay wood, cedar, bamboo and similar inefficient fibers and, therefore, could not emit light for an extended period.
A True Renaissance Man:
Lewis Latimer received a patent on September 13, 1881, along with Joseph V. Nichols, for a method of attaching carbon filaments to conducting wires within an electric lamp, and another patent on January 17, 1882, for a “process of manufacturing carbons”, a method for the production of carbon filaments for light bulbs which reduced breakages during the production process by wrapping the filaments in a cardboard envelope.
Before Thomas Edison offered Latimer a job in 1884, he had already patented (along with Charles Brown) an updated passenger train toilet system and in 1886, Latimer laid the foundation for the invention of the air conditioner by creating the “apparatus for cooling,” which has U.S. Patent Number 334,078.