Home / Events on 31 October / Joseph Swan Birthday
British physicist credited to have invented the electric light bulb. His bulbs had partial vacuum and a carbonised paper filament. And because of these, the bulbs had a short life span of just a few hours. Even so, Swan used them in his home – his house becoming the first in the world to be lit with a electricity source.
On 18th December 1878, Swan held a public demonstration of his bulb at the Newcastle upon Tyne Chemical Society. People were greatly impressed and the Savoy Theatre in London picked them up becoming the first public building to use the incandescent light bulb.
Swan patented his invention and kept improving upon it. However, his work was overshadowed by Thomas Edison. The great American inventor used a sort of brute force method by testing hundreds of materials for the filament. Edison and his team finally developed a bulb with a carbonised bamboo filament that could last upto 1,200 hours. Thus, Edison didn’t invent the bulb, though he made it a more practical, long-lasting and commercially viable product.
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