African American Inventors Who Changed the Electrical Field

These Inventors Advanced How Electricity is Used in Modern Homes 

For many years, African American inventors have produced groundbreaking inventions and technological advancements that revolutionized how electricity was used and generated. This blog post will take a look at three of these pioneering inventors who changed the field of electricity over time with their unique ideas, inventions, and developments. Read on to gain more insight into how these individuals helped shape everyday lives in households even today!

How Lewis Latimer Made Electric Lighting More Accessible

lewisLewis Latimer was a Civil War veteran who had taught himself to draw and had worked his way up to the position of draftsman in a patent law office. When Thomas Edison successfully created a filament to give off light, Latimer was there to help him patent it. The problem with the original design was that the materials were expensive, and the bulb would only last about 15 hours before burning out. 

Latimer, a Renaissance man known not only for his inventions but also his painting and poetry, set to work on making the lightbulb better. He invented an improved carbon filament for the lightbulb and a manufacturing process, which significantly increased the burn time and reduced the cost for consumers allowing them to be more accessible. Because of this, he made electric lighting available to all instead of just the wealthiest families.

How James E. West Impacted Everything From Telephones to Hearing Aids

jamesJames E. West is an inventor and acoustics engineer who first made his name in sound research during segregation. Along with Gerhard Sessler, West invented the electret microphone. It is a highly sensitive and tiny microphone that is now used in too many electrical devices to count. Some of them include the following:

  • Music recording equipment
  • Telephones and cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Hearing aids
  • Smart home devices such as voice-activated speakers 

How Marie Van Brittan Brown Revolutionized Home Security

Marie Van Brittan Brown lived her whole life in Queens, New York. Her husband was an electrical technician, and she was a nurse. Due to their jobs not conforming to regular business hours, she was often home alone in an area of the city not considered particularly safe. She developed and patented a home security system with surveillance that has inspired most modern security systems today. Her home security system included:

  • Peepholes: Her system had three different peepholes at various heights so everyone at the door could be seen.
  • Moveable Camera: A camera was aimed at the peepholes and was positioned on a sliding arm so that it could be moved between peepholes. Modern systems use a doorbell camera in the same way.
  • Screens: Brown had the camera connected to two screens, one in a living area and one in the bedroom so that she could monitor the door at night. This is a precursor to the modern security wall panel and monitoring doorbell cameras from smartphones. 
  • Intercom System: A two-way microphone was part of her design to allow people to talk to each other without opening the door.

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has more than 20 years of experience serving Montgomery, AL, and surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL

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The Black Inventors Who Revolutionized Home Electricity

Meet Three Black Inventors Who Changed the Modern Home

Black inventors created many electrical services and tools. This black history month, homeowners should highlight, read, learn, and reflect on their courageous and spectacular lives.

Without all of these black inventors, homeowners would not have everyday things at home like the light bulb, microphones, and home security systems.

Lewis Latimer and his Carbon Light Bulb Filament

Lewis Latimer was a black inventor and an essential part of the history of electricity. Although everyone likes to credit Thomas Edison for creating the first light bulb, this is only partially true.

While Thomas Edison did create the first version of a light bulb to have a patent, it was not feasible and could not be used by everyone. Lewis Latimer, at the time, a brilliant man with an engineering degree, was working at the U.S. Electric Lighting Company when he got the inspiration for his carbon light bulb filament.

He worked hard on his idea, to the point where his dream of transporting electricity to all households was met! The material in his version of a light bulb was easier to find and create than the past version.

james e west


James E. West and the Electret Condenser Microphone

James E West shares credit for this invention with Gerhard Sessler. Although this is true, he did the bulb of the work when creating an electret condenser microphone. This black inventor created the small microphone in hopes that everyone could use it.

For once, a microphone was small enough to implant into objects. Not only was it small enough to be impressive, but the electret condenser microphone did not need an ample power supply to run.

Where are these microphones used now? Everywhere! Homeowners should applaud these two inventors as their version of a microphone is now seen on home security systems, phones, tablets, and more!


Mary Van Brittan Brown and the Home Security System

maryMary Van Brittan Brown is an attractive woman. Unlike the men in this list, this black woman inventor first started her career as a nurse. Her husband worked with electricity, creating a small rudimentary security system.

Her version of the home security system was miniature, but it worked rather well! The reason she created it was because she felt unsafe. She and her husband came home, left for work at odd hours, and did not live in a safe neighborhood.

The home security system she invented had a two-way communication device. Meaning when someone tripped the alarm, it would call another person, and they could communicate and help with the situation. Home security systems are more advanced but use the same primary invention.

About Trustworthy Electric Inc. 

Licensed and insured, Trustworthy Electric Inc provides electrical and same-day services to their clients. They also have unique benefits and features like upfront pricing and online appointment services. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL.