Lewis Latirner 1848-1928 Lewis Latimer invented the water closet for railroad cars, an electric lamp with an inexpensive carbon filament and a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs.
Lewis Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848. He was the son Of George and Rebecca Latimer, escaped slaves from Virginia. When Lewis Latimer was a boy his father George was arrested and tried as a slave fugitive. The judge ordered his return to Virginia and slavery, but money was raised by the local community to pay for George Latimer’s freedom. George Latimer later went underground fearing his re-enslavement, a great hardship for Lewis’ family.
Lewis Latimer enlisted in the Union Navy at the age of 15 by forging the age on his birth certificate. Upon the completion of his military service, Lewis Latimer returned to Boston, Massachusetts where he was employed by the patent solicitors Crosby and Gould. White working in the office Lewis began the study of drafting and eventually became their head draftsmen. During his employment with Crosby and Gould, Latimer drafted the patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s patent application for the telephone, spending long nights with the inventor. Bell rushed his patent application to the patent office mere hours ahead of the competition and won the patent rights to the telephone with the help of Latimer.
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