African American Inventors

Lewis Latimer and George Washington Carver

Lewis Latimer

Lewis Howard Latimer was born on September 4 1848 in Chelsea Massachusetts. His parents escaped before he was born. He was the youngest out of 4 siblings. In 1864 16 year old Lewis faked his age to fight in the Civil War. When Lewis went back he joined the Crosby and Gould law Office. Lewis taught mechanical drawing and drafting. He did this by watching draftsmen work at the firm. Firm partners seen him and promoted him to a draftsman. He than began to invent many things like a railroad car bathroom, and an early air conditioning unit. During the post civil war period he helped Alexander Graham Bell design the telephone. He also got involved in the field of incandescet lighting, he was working for Thomas Edison and Hiram Maxim. Lewis" knowledge about electrical engineering made him a partner with Thomas Edison while he defended his light bulb design. Lewis published a book called Incandescet Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System in 1890. He still worked as a patent consultant until 1922. Lewis married in 1873 to Mary Willson, they had two daughters. Lewis Latimer died on December 11, 1928, in Flushing, Queens New York, his wife died four years before him.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born a slave around 1864, in Diamond, Missouri. George was kidnapped with his sister and mother a week after his birth by raiders from Arkansas. They were then sold in Kentuckey.