28 Days of American History

Feb 8, 2010


The other day, my roommates went back and forth about who was responsible for inventing the light bulb, which sparked this post. A lot of people seem to believe that Thomas Edison was solely responsible for inventing the light bulb, and while he indeed invented the incandescent bulb itself (the outer-covering), it was Lewis Howard Latimer, the only black member of the Edison's research team, who developed and patented the process for manufacturing the carbon filaments (the material inside the incandescent bulbs). In addition, Latimer was responsible for patenting a new way to attach the carbonized filament to the platinum wires that brought electricity into the bulb from the base.

Latimer worked for Edison's light company, and was also encouraged by Edison to write a book (published in 1890) entitled Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System, which explained how an incandescent bulb worked in an easy way. (So, no, Edison did not take credit for a black man's work per se. They were partners!)
The End.


Shadé said...

I remember having to do a report on him in high school. Very interesting man.

Marie said...

Dope work on doing these posts---i def didnt know any of that.

Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....