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Lewis H. Latimer

Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928): Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848 and raised in Boston, Lewis was an African American pioneer who played a major role in the development of the electric light bulb. From ex-cabin boy in the US Navy, to a draftsman for Hiram Maxim (the inventor of the machine gun), Lewis etched his name in history through multiple accomplishments. Not only was he the only black member of the Edison Pioneers, a group of inventors and scientists who worked with Thomas Edison, but he also received a patent for an improved process for manufacturing carbon filaments in 1882. Sadly, he passed away in 1928, however his legendary name lives on thanks to a school in Brooklyn, New York naming itself after him on May 10,1968. 


Students at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School have the opportunity to be a part of the Electrical Technology field with the Agriculture & Construction Academy. Students in this shop learn the basics in math skills and mechanical aptitude while demonstrating the ability to work with abstract concepts. Lewis Latimer paved the way for not only African Americans in the Electrical Technology field, but for each student learning the trade.