Go Back

Revolutionizing the Home: The Genius Black Inventors

Meet the Minds Behind Modern Living

Three pioneering black inventors, Lewis Latimer, James E. West, and Marie Van Brittan Brown, have made significant contributions to the field of electrical engineering. Latimer developed a way to mass-produce the carbon filament used in light bulbs, West invented the foil electret microphone, and Brown patented the first home security system. Their innovations have significantly impacted the industry and continue to shape modern technology.

Illuminating the Past: The story of Lewis Latimer

lewisElectrical illumination has significantly benefited from the inventions and engineering work of Lewis Latimer. While employed by the inventor Thomas Edison in 1881, Latimer created a process for producing carbon filament for light bulbs. This filament was superior to earlier filaments made of wood or bamboo because it was stronger and more long-lasting. Because of Latimer's invention, light bulbs are now mass-produced and more widely available and affordable. This changed contemporary lighting, enabling people to have light in their residences, places of commerce, and public areas. The development of other electrical gadgets like radios and televisions also benefited from Latimer's work. His development of the carbon filament was a crucial milestone in advancing contemporary electrical technology, and it is still a significant component of modern lighting.

Amplifying Innovation: The story of James E. West

jamesThe electret condenser microphone was created by African-American inventor James E. West, who significantly advanced electrical engineering. This microphone generates a signal using an electret, a permanently charged substance. Mics are now more dependable, portable, and inexpensive thanks to this invention. Electret condenser mics are standard in many modern gadgets, including cameras, computers, smart home appliances like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and smartphones and tablets. 

Additionally, they are frequently utilized in teleconferencing systems, live sound reinforcement, and professional recording studios. It is now much simpler for people to record and share their voices and ideas with the rest of the world because of the West's innovation, which has significantly impacted how we communicate. His contributions have continued to influence the technology that permeates our daily lives.

Protecting the Homefront: The story of Marie Van Brittan Brown

African-American inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown created the first home security system. She and her husband devised a system in 1966 to watch over their home while they were abroad, using peepholes, cameras, and remote control. Her 1969 invention described a system with four peepholes, the camera, a monitor, and a remote control that allowed the homeowner to observe and communicate with visitors at the entrance. Her creation served as the model for contemporary home security systems, which have since developed into complex technologies. This includes security cameras, motion detectors, alarms, and remote access control, which have become commonplace in our lives and provide a feeling of security and tranquility.

About Edison Electric, Inc.

The first choice for residential electrical service in the Twin Cities metro area should be Edison Electric, Inc. Since 2007, they've been committed to delivering quick, on-time residential electrical service. Call Edison Electric for all electrical services in Minneapolis, MN.