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Flushing museum to host 175th birthday celebration honoring renowned African American inventor Lewis Latimer

Aug. 24, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

The Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing will host a celebration commemorating the 175th birthday of renowned Black inventor Lewis Latimer with lively performances, food, engaging science and art activities for all ages on Sunday, Sept. 16. 

The celebration will honor the life and achievements of Latimer at the museum located at 34-41 137th St. and is free to the public. 

Lewis Latimer died on Dec. 11, 1928 at the age of 80 in Flushing. His ingenuity and perseverance laid the foundation for many of the modern conveniences we enjoy today. He is best known for his numerous contributions to the fields of science and technology. Latimer played a pivotal role in the development and improvement of the incandescent light bulb, working alongside Thomas Edison and Hiram Maxim. He also prepared the technical drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s application for the first telephone patent in the U.S. 

Hugh Price, who is a descendant of Latimer and currently sits on the museum’s board, said Latimer’s impact endures and resonates powerfully to this day. 

“His legacy highlights the remarkable contributions of Black Americans to scientific discovery, the importance of innovation and the pursuit of knowledge,” said Price, who is also the former president of the National Urban League. “Now is the time to celebrate his accomplishments and encourage others to persevere despite adversity.” 

The Mobile Lewis Latimer Lab, in partnership with the Biobus, will be a highlight of the celebration. This state-of-the-art lab on wheels brings science education to communities across New York City. Kids will have the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of circuits and electricity by creating their own paper circuits. This hands-on activity will spark their curiosity, ignite their creativity, and inspire future innovators. 

Yan Ran, executive director of the Lewis Latimer House Museum, hopes the event will inspire kids to pursue science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) careers. 

“We’re excited to gather as a community to celebrate the life of Lewis Latimer,” Yan said. “We’re bringing this historical figure to life and encouraging everyone to enjoy STEAM activities and inspire a future generation to pursue this career path.”

The museum will also feature a wide range of science and art activities for all attendees. From interactive experiments and demonstrations to art installations inspired by Latimer’s inventions, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Live performances by talented artists and musicians, including FANIKE! African Dance Troupe and a mesmerizing vocal jazz performance by Arrow, the Symbol will add to the festive atmosphere, providing entertainment and cultural enrichment.

To reserve your free tickets, visit lewislatimerhouse.org/events/celebratelatimer.

For more information about the event and to stay updated with the latest news, visit: lewislatimerhouse.org. 

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