PS 56 is proud to be named in honor of Lewis H. Latimer
Lewis Harold Latimer, born in 1848, was determined to overcome his lack of formal education. He taught himself mechanical drawing while in the Union Navy, and became an expert draftsman.
He worked with three of the greatest scientific inventors in American history, including Alexander Graham Bell, Hiram S. Maxim, and Thomas Alva Edison. He played a critical role in the development of the telephone and, as Edison’s chief draftsman, he invented and patented the carbon filament, a significant improvement in the production of the incandescent light bulb.
Over the course of his career, Latimer supervised the installation of street lighting and the construction of electric plants in many American cities, as well as London and Montreal.
Each year, PS 56 students take a trip to the Lewis Latimer House, to learn about the history of the school.