DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On December 11, 1928 Lewis Howard Latimer officially crossed over into the realm of an ancestor.
Louis Latimer began his career as one of Alexander Graham Bell's draftsmen ... but he quickly developed into a widely respected scientist and inventor. After leaving Bell's company, Latimer joined a little business called General Electric, which was begun by some guy named Thomas Edison. Latimer was the only African American engineer/scientist member of the elite Edison Pioneers research and development organization. One of Latimer's inventions was the filament for Edison's light bulb. Until Latimer's filament, Edison's light bulbs would burn only for a few minutes. Latimer's filament burned for hours.
In 1874, he co patented (with Charles W. Brown) an improved toilet system for railroad cars called the Water Closet for Railroad Cars (U.S. Patent 147,363).
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell employed Latimer, then a draftsman at Bell's patent law firm, to draft the necessary drawings required to receive a patent for Bell's telephone.
In 1879, he moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut and was hired as assistant manager and draftsman for the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, a company owned by Hiram Maxim, a rival of Thomas A. Edison.
In 1881 Latimer received a patent in January for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of carbon filaments used in light- bulbs.
In 1884, The Edison Electric Light Company in New York City hired Latimer, as a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights. Latimer is credited with an improved process for creating a carbon filament at this time, which was an improvement on Thomas Edison's original paper filament, which would burn out quickly.
In 1892, when that company was combined with the Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric, he continued to work in the legal department.
In 1896, when General Electric and Westinghouse Electric Company formed the "Board of Patent Control", to coordinate patent licensing and litigation, Latimer was employed as chief draftsman.
In 1911 he became a patent consultant to law firms.
U.S. Patent 147,363 "Water closets for railway cars," February 10, 1874
U.S. Patent 247,097 "Electric lamp," September 13, 1881
U.S. Patent 252,386 "Process of Manufacturing Carbons," January 17, 1882,
U.S. Patent 255,212 "Globe supporter for electric lamps," March 21, 1882
U.S. Patent 334,078 "Apparatus for cooling and disinfecting," January 12, 1886
U.S. Patent 557,076 "Locking rack for hats, coats, and umbrellas," March 24, 1896
U.S. Patent 968,787 "Lamp fixture," August 30, 1910