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Lewis Howard Latimer
Lewis latimer.jpg
Latimer in 1882
Born (1848-09-04)September 4, 1848
Died December 11, 1928(1928-12-11) (aged 80)
Occupation Inventor
Spouse(s) Mary Wilson Lewis
Children Jeanette (Mrs. Gerald F. Norman), Louise
Parent(s) George W. Latimer (1818-1896) and Rebecca Smith(1823-1910)

Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848 – December 11, 1928) was an African-American inventor and draftsman.

Early life

Latimer's family were slaves when a local minister led them to freedom. When he was 16 Latimer lied about his age to join the U.S Navy.

Public life

Latimer started working at Crosby and Gould, a patent law firm. He learned to draw diagrams. While at the law firm, Latimer invented an improved railroad car bathroom and an early air conditioning unit. Later, Latimer helped Alexander Graham Bell by drawing diagrams for his patent for the first telephone. Latimer also helped Thomas Edison with his patent for the light bulb, and invented a better way to make carbon filaments for light bulbs.


Latimer died on December 11, 1928 in Flushing Queens, New York at the age 80.

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