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Home / Invention and History of the Electric Lamp

Invention and History of the Electric Lamp


There have been many important inventions during the last hundred years. During this time we have seen the invention of the television, automobile, telephone and the computer. All of these inventions have made big contributions to the lives of people. However, one of the most enlightening inventions is that of electricity in general, but the electric lamp in particular.

Prior to the invention of the electric lamp, people had to rely on lanterns which were powered by fuel. The lanterns provided some light for people but the use of kerosene was messy, sometimes it didn't smell very well and was also dangerous because of the threat of fire because of misuse. By creating an electric light bulb and electric lamp, people now had the ability to light up a dark room so that they could see properly, while maintaining a safe home or business.

The electric lamp was the invention of one of the greatest American inventors – Thomas Edison. Through the efforts of Edison and his co-workers at Menlo Park in New Jersey. Edison after several attempts created the first incandescent lamp which was patented in 1880. Over the next few years others took the idea for the electric lamp and did changes with materials and methods of illuminating the lamp. Men like Sir Joseph Wilson Swan and Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin were responsible for further changes to the lamp.

The electric lamp has been an important part of our lives. Here are some additional information to learn more about the developments in the electric lamp.



First Electric Lamp

  • The Electric Lamp – Informative page which documents the work that Thomas Edison did on the first lamp.

  • Electric Lamp Information – Useful page which provides a history and information on various types of lamps.

  • Edison's Light B ulb – Information on the invention of the electric light bulb by Thomas Edison.

  • Early Lighting - Web page which provides a historical look at the early forms of lighting.

  • Edison's Light Bulb – Historical page which offers a look at the first demonstration of the electric light bulb.

  • History of the Light Bulb – A brief look at the history of the light bulb.



How Lamps Work

  • How Fluorescent Lamps Work – Useful page which provides information on fluorescent lamps function.

  • How Electric Bulbs Work – Basic information which provides a look at the workings of an electric bulb.

  • Incandescent Light – General information about the light bulb and electric lamp and how it works.

  • Light Bulb History – Information on the origin and development of the light bulb.

  • Light Bulbs and Lamps – Helpful page which provides information on the workings of light bulbs and lamps.

  • Lamps – Informative article which discusses how electric lamps function.



Thomas Edison



Sir Joseph Wilson Swan

  • Light Bulbs – Information on the work that Sir Joseph Wilson Swan did in developing the light bulb.

  • Swan Information – Brief biographical information on the life and work of Swan.

  • Joseph Swan Biography – Helpful look at the background of one of the pioneers in electric lamps and bulbs.

  • Joseph Wilson Swan – Information on the British born electric pioneer and his career accomplishments.

  • Joseph Swan and the Light Bulb – Background information on the work of Swan and the invention of the light bulb.



Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin

  • Russian Light Bulb – Article which outlines the work in Russia of Lodygin in the electric light bulb.
  • Facts About Lodygin – Web page which provides some basic facts about the life and work of the Russian inventor.
  • Lodygin Information – Helpful article which contains information on the life of the inventor.

Content Courtesy of David Miller