Retrospective: Edison but One of Many Inventors Behind the Incandescent Lamp

Posted: November 18, 2014 in General Commentary
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Yes, Edison was a great inventor and contributor, but his position as sole inventor is a disservice to those who actually did invent the light bulbs we call incandescent today.

A little housecleaning here. I am re-posting this from one of my other blogs being cleaned out and deleted, from 2008. Thought it was worth keeping around, as this technology fades into history. KLW

While it is common folklore to credit Edison with the invention of the light bulb, the little heater-light source gadget we know as the incandescent lamp includes a long list of iterations and contributors:

1802 – Humphry Davy demonstrates first incandescence
1809 – Humphry Davy invents the first electric light, using carbon arc.
1820 – Warren De la Rue created the first vacuum lamp using platinum coil filament
1835 – James Bowman Lindsay demonstrates prototype light bulb
1840 – Warren de La Rue creates the lamp with coiled platinum filament
1845 – John Starr acquires patent for carbon filament incandescent lamp
1850 – Edward Shepard invented an incandescent arc lamp
1850 – Joseph Wilson Swan started working with carbonized paper filaments.
1851 – Jean Eugene Robert-Hudin demonstrates incandescent lamps
1854 – Henricg Globel, invented the first carbonized bamboo filament incandescent lamp.
1872 – A. N. Liodygin invents incandescent light bulb
1874 – A.N. Liodygin receives patent for incandescent lamp
1875 – Herman Sprengel invented the mercury vacuum pump to create vacuum lamps
1875 – Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans patented a lightbulb.
1878 – Sir Joseph Wilson Swan invents longer-lasting electic lightbulb using cotton carbon filament
1879 – Thomas Alva Edison invents a carbon filament in vacuum bulb
1880 – Edison improves his lightbulb using bamboo filament
, receives patent for “improved” lamp
1902 – Shelby bulb – A.A.Chaillet – long life using thick loose filament*
1903 – Willis Whitnew invented metal-coated carbon filament
1906 – Carl Schubel patents tungsten filaments (assigned to GE)
1910 – William David Coolidge invents improved process for making tungsten filaments

* 1902 entry added 10/2014 from input provided by Timothy Gravert and link to Chaillet biogrpahy.

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