Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LATIMER, Charles, engineer, born in Washington, D. C., 7 September, 1827; died in Cleveland, Ohio, 25 March, 1888. He was graduated at the naval academy in 1848, having entered the navy in 1841, and, after holding the appointments of acting lieutenant and assistant professor in the naval academy, resigned in 1854. He then became axeman and roadman on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, and subsequently until 1857 was assistant engineer on various lines. He controlled a steamboat line for several years, but during the civil war he was assistant and division engineer in the United States military railroad service in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. Later he held the office of assistant engineer to various companies, including the New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio railroad company, of which in 1886 he became the engineer. Mr. Latimer invented a system of naval signals by lights, from which Coston's signals were taken, a safety-guard for railway bridges, and a method of returning to the track trains that have been derailed. He edited during 1883-'7 the "International Standard," a magazine devoted to the preservation of Anglo-Saxon weights and measures and opposing the introduction of the metric system, and he also published the " Road-Master's Assistants" (New York, 1878); "The Divining Rod" (Cleveland, 1876); and " Battle of Standards" (Chicago, 1880).
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