Joe Biden claims a black man invested the light bulb, 'not a white guy named ...

Joe Biden on Thursday said that a black man created the light bulb, 'not a white guy named Edison' during a speech while in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  

Biden made the remark at the Grace Lutheran Church while speaking with community leaders after a private meeting with the family of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father who was shot seven times in front of his children this month.

He traveled to the embattled city after President made an appearance earlier this week, despite push back from local leaders and the Blake family refusing to meet with him.

In footage shared to social media, Biden addressed instances of racial inequality in institutions, including the education system.

'I cannot guarantee everything gets solved in four years, but I guarantee you one thing, it will be a whole heck of a lot better,' said Biden. 

'Why in God's name don't we teach history in history classes,' he questions. 'A black man invested the light bulb not a white guy named Edison.

'There's so much. Did anybody know?'

Thomas Edison, known as the 'Father of Invention,' was first credited with creating the light bulb in 1979 and patented it in January 27, 1880.

However, Edison's original bulb was created using a paper filament, which burnt out quickly. Black man Lewis Howard Latimer, who worked with Edison, invented the carbon filament which allows lightbulbs to continuously shine. 

The Department of Energy in 2013 wrote: 'When Edison and his researchers at Menlo Park came onto the lighting scene, they focused on improving the filament — first testing carbon, then platinum, before finally returning to a carbon filament. 

Joe Biden (pictured) spoke before community leaders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday after meeting the the family of Jacob Blake

Joe Biden (pictured) spoke before community leaders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday after meeting the the family of Jacob Blake

Pictured: Thomas Edison

Pictured: Lewis Howard Latimer

Although Thomas Edison (left) is credited the creating the light bulb in 1879, Lewis Howard Latimer (right) improved the initial design with carbon filament  after he joined Edison's team in 1884

'By October 1879, Edison’s team had produced a light bulb with a carbonized filament of uncoated cotton thread that could last for 14.5 hours.' 

Edison's official claim to the light bulb came amid similar, competing visions from other inventors who were researching how best to distribute light during that time.

Lewis Howard Latimer

Lewis Howard Latimer was born on September 4, 1848 and died December 11, 1928. 

'Lewis Latimer invented a method for producing a more durable carbon filament, making incandescent lighting practical and affordable for consumers,' according to 

Although the Latimer, the son of slaves, had no formal education in science, he pursued the industry after serving in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. 

He taught himself mechanical drawing and drafting, and even made drawings for Alexander Graham Bell's first patent application for the telephone.    

After joining Edison's team in 1884, Latimer was key in the distribution of light in urban areas.

'Despite the societal roadblocks a black man faced in the late nineteenth century, Latimer successfully oversaw the set up of electric lighting plants in the United States, Canada, and England,' wrote.

'After leaving U.S. Electric Lighting, Latimer worked for Thomas Edison and became a patent investigator and expert witness for the Edison Electric Light Company. '


He's credited with patenting the first 'practical incandescent,' light bulb and the first electric power station, Grist

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