Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Were the Inventors of Electric Light?

A: Humphry Davy, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, Thomas Alva Edison, William David Coolidge, Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, and Ed Hammer have all earned their place in history as the inventors of electric light.

The first electric light — called an electric arc — was made in 1800 by Humphry Davy, an English scientist. In 1878, the English physicist Sir Joseph Wilson Swan demonstrated new electric lamps in Newcastle, England. Then in 1879, after experimenting with thousands of different filaments, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison created an oxygen-free bulb that glowed for up to 40 hours, and he eventually produced a bulb that could glow for over 1500 hours. William David Coolidge invented the incandescent bulb in 1910 — the bulb that revolutionized the world. Russian scientist Oleg Vladimirovich Losev invented LED lighting technology in the mid-1920s, though he was not credited for his invention until well after his death. Last, but not least, Ed Hammer (employed at the time by General Electric) invented the first compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) in the 1970s.

Information Sources:,, and


Did You Know?

Thomas Edison was an advocate for renewable energy.
“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind, and tide. . . . I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”   
— Thomas Edison, inventor (1847–1931)

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