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Ian Jones

African‐American scientist and inventor who worked in Britain. Lewis Latimer's parents were Rebecca and George Latimer, fugitive slaves from Virginia who gained their liberty in the free state of Massachusetts, where Lewis was born. Lewis served in the American Civil War (1861–5), after which he worked as an office boy in a patent law firm. His employers soon recognized his talent for drawing and made him head draughtsman. He married Mary Wilson (1848–1937) in 1873 and wrote a poem for his wedding, which he later published in his collection Poems of Love and Life.

When he was 25, Lewis invented an improved toilet for railway carriages, and in 1876Alexander Graham Bell hired him to produce the drawings he needed to patent the telephone. Lewis was later headhunted by the US Electric Lighting Company, and in 1882 was awarded a patent for a ...


C. M. Winston

printmaker and codeveloper of the carborundum mezzotint process, was born in Griffin, Georgia, the second of four children of Gus Thrash and Ophelia Thrash. Little is known about Thrash's father, and it is believed that his mother was a housekeeper and cook for a local family. Thrash left school after the fourth grade, seeking work to help support his family. In a letter to artist Jacob Kainen, dated 7 October 1948, Thrash stated, “After fifteen [I] began to travel through out [sic] the country doing odd jobs. My ambition to be an artist caused me to settle in Chicago.” In 1911, at the age of eighteen, Thrash arrived in Chicago, Illinois. He obtained a job as an elevator operator for the American Bank Note Engraving Company and by 1914 had enrolled in night school at the Art Institute of Chicago He attended classes part ...


Dox Thrash was born in Griffin, Georgia. After studying for several years at the Art Institute of Chicago, Thrash settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Once there he painted signs and worked on the Federal Arts Project (FAP) to earn a living. Working with the FAP, in the Graphic Division, he helped invent a new lithographic process, called the carborundum print-process. This created prints with more expressive tones and variation. His carbographs explored the portraits of African Americans, landscapes, and scenes of slum life. My Neighbor (1937) and the landscape Deserted Cabin (1939) are examples of Thrash's carbographs. In the late 1930s and through the 1940s Thrash's work was shown in many prominent places, including a 1942 solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

See also Artists, African American.