Lewis H. Latimer

Essay by rashlockHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2002

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A.Many things changed because of the inventions of Lewis H. Latimer.

II.Background info

A.Latimer grew up in slavery

1.Born in Chelsea, Mass. in Sept. 1848

2.Father arrested

B.Sixteen year Lewis lied about his age to join navy.

1.Received honorable discharge and returned to Boston to look for work.

2.While working as an errand boy at a law firm, he picked the skills as a draftsman.

C.Latimer went on to work with two of the most important inventors of the time.

1.He assisted Alexander Graham Bell in drafting his blueprints for the telephone.

2.Went to work for Thomas Edison assisting him with electric lighting and filing the patents for it.

III.Obstacles and opportunities


1.Because of his father's light skin, he was able to pass as a plantation owner.

2. A slave named Dredd Scott could not be considered a free man even though he lived in a free state.


1.Latimer invented the lamp fixture, the electric lamp, and an apparatus for cooling and disinfecting.

2.Lewis worked with many great inventors.

C.The light bulb

1.Edison's prototypical light bulb burnt out quick.

2.Latimer created a new light bulb that worked longer.

IV.Achievements and accomplishments

A.Invented the water closet

1.Invented the water closet in 1874.

2.The toilet was used on railroad cars.

B.Invented other things

1.Latimer invented many other things besides the light bulb with carbon filament and the water closet.

2.He also invented a forerunner of the air conditioner.

C.Wrote a book

1.Not only was Latimer an inventor, but he also wrote the first book on electric lighting.

2.This book was written in 1890.



B.Latimer died on December 11th, 1928.

C.Lewis left a remarkable legacy. His name will be...