The thing is, though, his facts were a little off. As far as we know, Edison did invent the light bulb, but a Black inventor named Lewis Latimer actually made it better and more accessible.
Here’s how it went down.
But after years of experiments and thousands of tests of various filament materials, his longest-lasting light bulb could only last for about 15 hours before the filament burned out.
Around the same time Edison was experimenting with his bulb — using carbonized filaments of bay wood, cedar, bamboo and other fibers — so was Latimer.
Born just a year after Edison in 1848, Latimer was an inventor known for working closely with Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone (though some claim that invention is actually Latimer’s).
Because of Latimer’s contributions, incandescent light bulbs became more affordable and practical, MIT says, thus transforming American culture.