Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928), an American inventor and engineer who invented the first incandescent light bulb with a carbon filament, which gave light bulbs a longer life and made them less expensive and more efficient. Before these developments, filaments were either made out of bamboo, paper, or thread, and lasted only a few days. Latimer had the distinction of being the only African American member of the Edison Pioneers. While with the engineering division of the Edison Company, he published Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System, the first technical engineering book on lighting systems. Because of his improvement to light bulb technology, he was asked to supervise the installation of electric lights in New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London, and helped install the first electric plants in Philadelphia, New York City, and Montreal. Prior to his work with Edison, Latimer assisted Alexander Graham Bell with his patent drawing for the telephone. Latimer's first patent in 1874 was for a water closet (toilet) on railway cars.
- Lewis Latimer (1848-1928): Renaissance Man, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution.
- Inventor of the Week: Lewis H. Latimer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- The Life of Lewis Latimer, Merrimack Education Center - Newton Public Schools, Newton, Massachusetts.