Last Friday, East-West was fortunate enough to have Vivian Warfield speak to our students about Lewis H. Latimer. As the previous Executive Director of the Lewis Latimer House in Flushing, Ms. Warfield shared her extensive knowledge of the African-American scientist and inventor of the carbon filament.
Lewis Latimer, a pioneer of electrical engineering
... He was of the colored race, the only one in our organization... Broadmindedness, versatility in the accomplishment of things intellectual and cultural, a linguist, a devoted husband and father...
—excerpts from Lewis Latimer's obituary by the Edison Pioneers, 1928 (source)
Lewis Latimer was known as a "Renaissance" man, a man of many talents. An accomplished poet, painter, playwrite, musician as well as a pioneering engineer, he overcame many obstacles without having any doubts about his talents. Recognizing that Thomas Edison's bamboo filament was impractical (Edison's original bulb lasted only 30 hours before burning out), Latimer invented the carbon filament, thus making the light bulb practical. (source)
Read more about Lewis Latimer at the links provided at the end of this post.
After Morning Muster, Ms. Warfield stayed to give two more in-class presentations on 19th Century African-American artists to all our 11th graders.
Ms. Warfield is an active East-West volunteer and serves on the advisory board of the school's nonprofit.
For more information on Lewis Latimer: