Lewis H Latimer

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Whenever we think of who invented the lightbulb a quick Google search will tell you it was Thomas Edison.

Although that’s been questioned and there are claims it was an Englishman called Joseph Swan.

An important element of the light bulb is the filament. This is the very fine thread that you see inside the bulb, this was invented by Lewis H Latimer.

This achievement often goes unnoticed or celebrated, but if we didn’t have the filament, the electricity wouldn’t have been conducted.

Lewis was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848. He was one of the first major African American inventors. Lewis was an assistant to Alexander Graham Bell.

Thomas Edison’s prototype of a lightbulb was lit by a glowing, electrified filament made of paper, whereas Lewis’s lightbulb was created with a filament made of durable carbon. 

Lewis sold the patent for the “Incandescent Electric Light Bulb with Carbon Filament” to the United States Electric Company in 1881.

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