28 Days of Royalty: Lewis Howard Latimer

Despite our past or current circumstances, we are capable of greatness.

Don’t believe me? Read on to learn about Lewis Howard Latimer: the son of parents who escaped slavery; a boy who fell into the role of being the man of his mother’s household after his father fled; a man who self-taught himself to draft and bring ideas to realistic forms on paper; and a man who despite all of his tough circumstances, carved out his own path for success.

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Meet Mr. Lewis Latimer…

Born in 1848 to parents who escaped from slavery just six years before, Lewis Howard Latimer grew up for the most part without a father. His father was captured in Boston and trialed as a fugitive. Although his father eventually bought his freedom after his trial, he soon after left his family around the time of the Dred Scott decision in 1857, possibly fearing being captured again. From that day forward, Latimer’s focus was on providing for his mother and siblings. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, Latimer managed to teach himself a special skill of mechanical drawing and drafting from observing the men at a patent law office where he worked.

The inventions began.

Post-Civil War was all about scientific and engineering advancements. Latimer was promoted to a draftsman and began assisting others in their inventions. One of these inventions included the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. Latimer worked directly with Bell in drafting the patent of his telephone. He worked with Thomas Edison, as well. “Latimer’s deep knowledge of both patents and electrical engineering made Latimer an indispensable partner to [the] Edison [company] as he promoted and defended his light bulb design,” (biography.com). Throughout it all, Latimer also did some inventing. He redesigned the railroad bathroom car along with an early air conditioner.

Lewis Howard Latimer September 04,1848 - December 11, 1928

Lewis Howard Latimer
September 04, 1848 – December 11, 1928

“For who would live if life held no allurements?”

“Tomorrow may be fair, however stormy the sky of today.”

“We create our future, by well improving present opportunities: however few and small they be.”

– Lewis Latimer

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So what will you do or change today that will help carve out your own or your child’s unique path for success? Share with us below.

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Work Cited:

  • biography.com
  • image: muhammadyungai.com
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