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  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1761

    Ebenezer Kinnersley's Discovery

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1761

    In 1761 Ebenezer Kinnersley demonstrated heating a wire to incandescence.




  • England
    1802

    Humphry Davy's Experiment

    England
    1802

    In 1802, Humphry Davy used what he described as "a battery of immense size", consisting of 2,000 cells housed in the basement of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, to create an incandescent light by passing the current through a thin strip of platinum, chosen because the metal had an extremely high melting point. It was not bright enough nor did it last long enough to be practical, but it was the precedent behind the efforts of scores of experimenters over the next 75 years.




  • Dundee, Scotland, UK
    1835

    Lindsay demonstrated a Constant Electric Light

    Dundee, Scotland, UK
    1835

    In 1835, James Bowman Lindsay demonstrated a constant electric light at a public meeting in Dundee, Scotland. He stated that he could "read a book at a distance of one and a half feet". Lindsay, a lecturer at the Watt Institution in Dundee, Scotland, at the time, had developed a light that was not combustible, created no smoke or smell, and was less expensive to produce than Davy's platinum-dependent bulb. However, having perfected the device to his own satisfaction, he turned to the problem of wireless telegraphy and did not develop the electric light any further. His claims are not well documented, although he is credited in Challoner et al. with being the inventor of the "Incandescent Light Bulb".




  • Belgium
    1838

    The Incandescent light bulb with a vacuum atmosphere

    Belgium
    1838

    In 1838, Belgian lithographer Marcellin Jobard invented an incandescent light bulb with a vacuum atmosphere using a carbon filament.




  • England
    1840

    Warren de la Rue's Invention

    England
    1840

    In 1840, British scientist Warren de la Rue enclosed a coiled platinum filament in a vacuum tube and passed an electric current through it. The design was based on the concept that the high melting point of platinum would allow it to operate at high temperatures and that the evacuated chamber would contain fewer gas molecules to react with the platinum, improving its longevity. Although a workable design, the cost of the platinum made it impractical for commercial use.




  • England
    1841

    The First patent for an Incandescent Lamp

    England
    1841

    In 1841, Frederick de Moleyns of England was granted the first patent for an incandescent lamp, with a design using platinum wires contained within a vacuum bulb. He also used carbon.




  • Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
    1845

    The Incandescent Light bulb involving the use of Carbon Filaments

    Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
    1845

    In 1845, American John W. Starr acquired a patent for his incandescent light bulb involving the use of carbon filaments. He died shortly after obtaining the patent, and his invention was never produced commercially.


  • Blois, France
    1851

    Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin publicly demonstrated Incandescent Light bulbs

    Blois, France
    1851

    In 1851, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin publicly demonstrated incandescent light bulbs on his estate in Blois, France. His light bulbs are on display in the museum of the Château de Blois.


  • Massachusetts, U.S.
    1859

    An Electric Incandescent Light bulb using a Platinum Filament

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    1859

    In 1859, Moses G. Farmer built an electric incandescent light bulb using a platinum filament. He later patented a light bulb which was purchased by Thomas Edison.


  • Russia
    1872

    Russian Alexander Lodygin invented an Incandescent Light bulb

    Russia
    1872

    In 1872, Russian Alexander Lodygin invented an incandescent light bulb and obtained a Russian patent in 1874. He used as a burner two carbon rods of the diminished section in a glass receiver, hermetically sealed, and filled with nitrogen, electrically arranged so that the current could be passed to the second carbon when the first had been consumed. Later he lived in the US, changed his name to Alexander de Lodyguine and applied and obtained patents for incandescent lamps having chromium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, molybdenum and tungsten filaments, and a bulb using a molybdenum filament was demonstrated at the world fair of 1900 in Paris.


  • Canada
    Friday Jul 24, 1874

    Canadian Patent was filed

    Canada
    Friday Jul 24, 1874

    On 24 July 1874, a Canadian patent was filed by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans for a lamp consisting of carbon rods mounted in a nitrogen-filled glass cylinder. They were unsuccessful at commercializing their lamp, and sold rights to their patent (U.S. Patent 0,181,613) to Thomas Edison in 1879.


  • England
    1878

    Discovering a method of processing that avoided the early bulb blackening

    England
    1878

    With the help of Charles Stearn, an expert on vacuum pumps, in 1878, Swan developed a The method of Processing That avoided The early bulb blackening. This received a British Patent in 1880.


  • New Jersey, U.S.
    Monday Oct 14, 1878

    Edison filed his first patent Application for "Improvement In Electric Lights"

    New Jersey, U.S.
    Monday Oct 14, 1878

    Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp in 1878. Edison filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights" on 14 October 1878.


  • Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Wednesday Dec 18, 1878

    The Newcastle Chemical Society Meeting

    Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Wednesday Dec 18, 1878

    On 18 December 1878, a lamp using a slender carbon rod was shown at a meeting of the Newcastle Chemical Society.


  • Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
    Friday Jan 17, 1879

    Swan gave a working demonstration

    Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
    Friday Jan 17, 1879

    Swan gave a working demonstration at The Newcastle Chemical Society meeting on 17 January 1879.


  • Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Monday Feb 03, 1879

    The First Street in the world to be lit by an Incandescent Lightbulb

    Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    Monday Feb 03, 1879

    The first street in the world to be lit by an incandescent lightbulb was Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. It was lit by Joseph Swan's incandescent lamp on 3 February 1879.


  • New Jersey, U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 22, 1879

    Edison's first Successful Test

    New Jersey, U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 22, 1879

    After many experiments, first with carbon in the early 1880s and then with platinum and other metals, in the end Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on 22 October 1879, and lasted 13.5 hours.


  • New Jersey, U.S.
    Tuesday Nov 04, 1879

    Edison filed for a US Patent for an Electric Lamp using a Carbon Filament or Strip Coiled and connected to platina contact wires

    New Jersey, U.S.
    Tuesday Nov 04, 1879

    Edison continued to improve this design and by 4 November 1879, filed for a US patent for an electric lamp using "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected ... to platina contact wires." Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including using "cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways," Edison and his team later discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last more than 1200 hours.


  • Westminster, London, England
    1881

    The First public building in the world, To be lit entirely by Electricity

    Westminster, London, England
    1881

    In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminster, London was lit by Swan incandescent lightbulbs, which was the first theatre, and the first public building in the world, to be lit entirely by electricity.


  • New York, U.S.
    Tuesday Jan 17, 1882

    Latimer received a patent for The "Process of Manufacturing Carbons"

    New York, U.S.
    Tuesday Jan 17, 1882

    Lewis Latimer, employed at the time by Edison, developed an improved method of heat-treating carbon filaments which reduced breakage and allowed them to be molded into novel shapes, such as the characteristic "M" shape of Maxim filaments. On 17 January 1882, Latimer received a patent for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of light bulb filaments, which was purchased by the United States Electric Light Company. Latimer patented other improvements such as a better way of attaching filaments to their wire supports.


  • England, United Kingdom
    Jun, 1882

    Swan sold his US Patent rights to the Brush Electric Company

    England, United Kingdom
    Jun, 1882

    In Britain, the Edison and Swan companies merged into the Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan, and ultimately incorporated into Thorn Lighting Ltd). Edison was initially against this combination, but after Swan sued him and won, Edison was eventually forced to cooperate, and the merger was made. Eventually, Edison acquired all of Swan's interest in the company. Swan sold his US patent rights to the Brush Electric Company in June 1882.


  • Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
    Monday Oct 08, 1883

    The United States Patent Office gave a ruling about Edison's Patents

    Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
    Monday Oct 08, 1883

    The United States Patent Office gave a ruling 8 October 1883, that Edison's patents were based on the prior art of William Sawyer and were invalid.


  • Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
    Sunday Oct 06, 1889

    Edison's Litigation

    Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
    Sunday Oct 06, 1889

    Edison's Litigation continued for a number of years. Eventually on 6 October 1889, a judge ruled that Edison's electric light improvement claim for "a filament of carbon of high resistance" was valid.


  • New York, U.S.
    1893

    The Story of The Göbel Lamps

    New York, U.S.
    1893

    Heinrich Göbel in 1893 claimed he had designed the first incandescent light bulb in 1854, with a thin carbonized bamboo filament of high resistance, platinum lead-in wires in an all-glass envelope, and a high vacuum. Judges of four courts raised doubts about the alleged Göbel anticipation, but there was never a decision in a final hearing due to the expiry date of Edison's patent. A research work published 2007 concluded that the story of the Göbel lamps in the 1850s is a legend.


  • Italy and U.S.
    1896

    Malignani patented an evacuation method for mass production

    Italy and U.S.
    1896

    In 1896 Italian inventor Arturo Malignani (1865–1939) patented an evacuation method for mass production, which allowed obtaining economic bulbs lasting 800 hours. The patent was acquired by Edison in 1898.


  • Germany
    1897

    The Nernst Lamp

    Germany
    1897

    In 1897, German physicist and chemist Walther Nernst developed the Nernst lamp, a form of incandescent lamp that used a ceramic globar and did not require enclosure in a vacuum or inert gas. Twice as efficient as carbon filament lamps, Nernst lamps were briefly popular until overtaken by lamps using metal filaments.


  • Hungary
    Tuesday Dec 13, 1904

    Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman were granted a Hungarian patent for a tungsten Filament Lamp

    Hungary
    Tuesday Dec 13, 1904

    On 13 December 1904, Hungarian Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman were granted a Hungarian patent (No. 34541) for a tungsten filament lamp that lasted longer and gave brighter light than the carbon filament. Tungsten filament lamps were first marketed by the Hungarian company Tungsram in 1904. This type is often called Tungsram-bulbs in many European countries. Filling a bulb with an inert gas such as argon or nitrogen slows down the evaporation of the tungsten filament compared to operating it in a vacuum. This allows for greater temperatures and therefore greater efficacy with less reduction in filament life.


  • Massachusetts, U.S.
    1906

    William D. Coolidge developed a method of making "ductile Tungsten" from Sintered Tungsten

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    1906

    In 1906, William D. Coolidge developed a method of making "ductile tungsten" from sintered tungsten which could be made into filaments while working for General Electric Company. By 1911 General Electric began selling incandescent light bulbs with ductile tungsten wire.


  • New York, U.S.
    1913

    Irving Langmuir's Researches

    New York, U.S.
    1913

    In 1913, Irving Langmuir found that filling a lamp with inert gas instead of a vacuum resulted in twice the luminous efficacy and reduction of bulb blackening.


  • Japan
    1921

    The First Double-Coil bulb using a coiled coil tungsten filament

    Japan
    1921

    In 1921, Junichi Miura created the first double-coil bulb using a coiled coil tungsten filament while working for Hakunetsusha (a predecessor of Toshiba). At the time, machinery to mass-produce coiled coil filaments did not exist. Hakunetsusha developed a method to mass-produce coiled coil filaments by 1936.


  • Florida, U.S.
    1925

    Marvin Pipkin patented a process for frosting the inside of Lamp bulbs without weakening them

    Florida, U.S.
    1925

    In 1925, Marvin Pipkin, an American chemist, patented a process for frosting the inside of lamp bulbs without weakening them.


  • Budapest, Hungary
    1930

    Filling lamps with krypton gas rather than argon

    Budapest, Hungary
    1930

    In 1930, Hungarian Imre Bródy filled lamps with krypton gas rather than argon, and designed a process to obtain krypton from air. Production of krypton filled lamps based on his invention started at Ajka in 1937, in a factory co-designed by Polányi and Hungarian-born physicist Egon Orowan.


  • Florida, U.S.
    1947

    Coating the inside of lamps with silica

    Florida, U.S.
    1947

    In 1947, Marvin Pipkin patented a process for coating the inside of lamps with silica.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Jul 08, 1978

    Albon Man started Electro-Dynamic Light Company

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Jul 08, 1978

    Albon Man, a New York lawyer, started Electro-Dynamic Light Company in 1878 to exploit his patents and those of William Sawyer.


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