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Here find a house of welcoming, Here find vision and hope ,Here be received as you truly are Unique and beautiful ,Your journey acknowledged , Your love honored,
Let us rejoice together
Words by Unitarian Unversalist minister Rev Brugnola
In 1881 Lewis H Latimer perfected the electric light bulb commonly used today.
Before Latimer’s improvements earlier light bulbs had no practical use since the light would not last an extended period of time.
Years later, in 1906 Lewis Latimer became a founding member of the Unitarian Church of Flushing.
In honor of our distinguished founder, the now
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens has created a scholarship.
Lewis Howard Latimer, the youngest of five children born September 4th, 1848 to a free black family in Chelsea Massachusetts, is an African-American Inventor. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell employed Latimer, who was a draftsman at his law firm at the time, to draft the necessary drawings required to receive a patent for what know today as Bell's telephone.
Latimer received a patent for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of carbon filaments for the light bulb. The Edison Electric Light Company in New York City hired Latimer in 1884, yet most accounts of the light bulb do not even mention Latimer. His granddaughter, Winifred Latimer Norman, a member of Fourth Universalist Society in New York City, cites two reasons: the color of his skin and the lot of the salaried researcher. Latimer worked for two electric companies who claimed the profit and patents on most of his inventions.
Corresponding with black intellectuals, Latimer insisted on full citizenship and integration of African Americans into society. He bought a large house in the mostly white borough of Queens, which is now a museum in his honor. Years later in 1906 Lewis Latimer became a founding member of the Unitarian Church of Flushing. In 1908, he helped establish what is now known as the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens.
In honor of our founding member, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens has developed a scholarship in his name awarded to high school seniors who excel in the field of Science and plan to further their studies in that area in college.