Lewis Latimer Patent Drawing

Electricity pioneer Lewis Latimer drew this component of an arc lamp, an early type of electric light, for the U.S. Electric Lighting Company in 1880.
The son of escaped slaves and a Civil War veteran at age sixteen, Latimer trained himself as a draftsman. His technical and artistic skills earned him jobs with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, among others. An inventor in his own right, Latimer received numerous patents and was a renowned industry expert on incandescent lighting.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Latimer, Lewis H.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 1/4 in x 12 1/2 in x 1/16 in; 18.415 cm x 31.75 cm x .0795 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cultures & Communities
Energy & Power
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Government, Politics, and Reform
Industry & Manufacturing
National Treasures exhibit
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
National Treasures exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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