Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848-December 11, 1928) was an African-American engineer and inventor who was a member of Thomas Edison’s research team, which was called “Edison’s Pioneers.” Latimer improved the newly-invented incandescent light bulb by inventing a carbon filament (which he patented in 1881). In 1882, Latimer developed and patented a method of manufacturing his carbon filaments (patent #252,386). Later, the stronger tungsten filament replaced the carbon filament (invented by W. D. Coolidge). Latimer also invented a a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs.
Latimer developed many other inventions, including the first toilet that could be used in trains (1874, patent #147,363 - called “Water closet for railroad cars”), and a forerunner of the air conditioner (1886, patent # 334,078 - called “Apparatus for cooling and disinfecting”). In 1890, Latimer published the book Incandescent Electric Lighting, a technical guide for electrical engineers.