Swan electric lamp

Made:
1878-1879 in England
maker:
Joseph Wilson Swan

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Early carbon and rod filament incandescent electric lamp, by Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, England, 1878-1879

Early carbon and rod filament incandescent electric lamp 1878-9. Made by the English chemist, Joseph Swan (1827-1914).

The first practical electrical incandescent lamps were invented independently in the late 1870s by Joseph Swan in England and Thomas Edison in the USA. Advances in filament design, vacuum technique and glass-blowing led to the rapid refinement of the lamps and ultimately to the ubiquity of electric lighting. Edison himself supervised the installation of the world's first permanent, commercial central power system, which became operative in September 1882, to power electric light.

Details

Category:
Lighting
Object Number:
1908-33
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), glass, mahogany (wood) and metal (unknown)
type:
electric lamp
credit:
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan.