I was the son of runaways, yet I would soon be the ignored father of electricity
Draft after draft, I would progress in my innovations despite the lack of praise
Gardens of inventions would be under my watch
They would certainly bloom
Trains would look like outhouses on wheels without me
I even drew up the first phone designs
Ask Alexander about that
Then came my electric lamp
Carbon would be king to shine brighter and longer
How well was a paper filament, Thomas?
I was an originator
The bigger One knows who I am when others give blank stares
This incandescent electric freeman lives whenever you turn a light on
Wait, so Thomas Edison wasn’t the real inventor of the (functioning) light bulb? Alexander Graham Bell relied on someone else for the archetype of the telephone? Yeah, I know you’re shocked, too.
Lewis Howard Latimer is completely slept on in the history books. He created so many inventions and drafts in several fields. His biggest invention was the carbon filament which is the main basis for light bulbs even to this day. Edison’s light bulb used a paper filament which was incredibly short lived. Latimer showed him how to do it right and proved carbon was king when it comes to lighting up things with his patented electric lamp. This isn’t the only song that critiques Edison on this album and I’ll get to that in future posts. Not only that, but he even was the first person in history to write a book on electric lighting. They certainly didn’t teach you that in school and I didn’t know about this innovator until 2018. Seriously! Also, MIT named an entire invention program after him, so at least they got that right.
His legacy lives on every time you flip a switch. You’re welcome, America!
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The image of Lewis Howard Latimer is from Wikipedia.