The Life of Lewis Latimer

The Amazing Inventor


African American, Lewis Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts on September, 4, 1848. His parents were runaway slaves in the 1830's. Latimer and his brothers joined the military and eventually served in the Civil War of 1861.


Before 1882, the light produced by light bulbs did not last long, due to the paper filament. Lewis Latimer invented the first incandescent light bulb with carbon filaments, which lasted much longer.
He also helped invent the flushing water closet in railroad trains.


Lewis Latimer has been through a lot of struggles. A punching bag goes through a lot of beatings. Lewis always came through, and a punching bag will always swing back. Lewis is like a punching bag. No matter how hard you hit it, it'll always swing back,. Lewis took a lot of hits while he was in the military, he also took many hits while he was in the U.S navy. In the end the guy beating him will get tired and give up or leave...but Lewis will still be there to succeed.


U.S Electric Light Company

Of the many inventions Latimer made during his employment with U.S. Electric, three were patented such as a new support for arc lights, an improvement to Maxim's method of manufacturing filaments for incandescent bulbs, and a new way to attach the carbonized filament to the platinum wires that brought electricity into the bulb from the base.

Losing a Job

Latimer was a successful worker in the U.S electric light company, but when he came back in 1882 from London, the company had undergone many corporate changes. He found that he no longer had a place in the company and [sadly] had to search for a new stable job.

The Edison Electric Light Company

In 1885 Lewis finally found the Edison Electric Light Company. He entered the engineering department, and in around 1889 he was transferred to the Legal department which worked against people who were trying to benefit from Edison's inventions illegally.

General Electric Light Company

In 1892 Edison's Electric Light Company merged with the Thomson Houston Company, and it was named General Electric. Latimer continued to work for the Legal department of the new company.




Punching Bag EVERLAST. Digital image. Bigamericannight. N.p., 16 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. <>.

"Lewis Howard Latimer." Inventor Lewis Latimer Biography. The Great Idea Finder, 29 Dec. 2006. Web. 04 Feb. 2013. <>.

"Lewis Howard Latimer Biography." Bio. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2013.

"Lewis Howard Latimer." Energyquest. California Energy Commission, 2006. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. <>