Lewis Latimer

Lewis Latimer, The First Hidden FigureStirred by the Spring’s disturbing developments in racial inequality, PUF’s Steve Mitnick started exhaustively researching the founding father of our industry largely forgotten because of his race, Lewis Latimer. Now available for you to read, for free, “Lewis Latimer, The First Hidden Figure” tells the story of this Forrest Gump of the Second Industrial Revolution that was literally everywhere, from decisively helping Alexander Graham Bell secure the telephone patent, to competing with Thomas Edison with a superior light bulb filament and manufacturing process that Edison adopted, to then being hired by Edison to lead his patent defenses and offenses.

Uniquely respected by the European American captains of industry of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, as well as the African American intellectuals of the period, at a time when blacks endured terrible injustices and violence, Latimer’s inspiring story is an important addition to today’s conversations about how our society can progress to the point in which all Americans are free to reach for their greatest potential.

CPS Energy, Dentons, Energy Impact Partners, FirstEnergy, Guidehouse, and Xcel Energy have sponsored this book enabling Public Utilities Fortnightly to distribute it throughout our industry at no charge or obligation.  Read and enjoy the book, and pass it along freely. The sponsors have also enabled us to establish the PUF Latimer Scholarship Fund, to be administered by the American Association of Blacks in Energy, to help young African American women and men to reach for their greatest potential.

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The hardcover version of this book — beautifully illustrated on the cover with a painting by NARUC First Vice President Paul Kjellander and inside by PUF artist Dennis Auth — will become available in early December. Utilities, agencies, associations, vendors and firms in our industry can purchase a hundred hardcovers which they can then distribute to employees and external constituencies. For each hundred hardcovers, these organizations will be asked to contribute $5,500 of which $1,500 will be donated to the PUF Latimer Scholarship Fund. Additionally, Commissioner Kjellander has agreed to provide each such purchaser a signed print of his cover painting, suitable for framing and display, and we’ll recognize purchasers in a tribute to be included in an upcoming issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly.