On the seventh day of Christmas we get swimming swans. Mute Swans (the classic white ones with the orange beak) are the largest flying bird, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’m done with writing about birds this week. Rather, I’ll ask you this question: Who was the first person to have his house lit by electric lightbulbs?
Sir Joseph Swan, Britain’s inventor of the lightbulb. What about Thomas Edison? Didn’t he invent the lightbulb? Well, frankly, no.
Joseph Swan held British patent number 8 for a carbon paper filament inside a glass bulb to create incandescent light. This was 1878, while Edison didn’t get into the lightbulb game until the next year (when he bought a lightbulb patent from a couple Canadians). In 1880 Swan got a second patent for his new practical lightbulb and went into business, starting with his own house and London’s famous Savoy Theatre. Providing over a thousand bulbs for the theatre proved a huge success. No more smelly, hot, burning gas lamps tht led to an uncomfortably stuffy theatre. The world was scrambling for electric light.
Across the pond in America, Edison wasn’t happy. He also got patents for his bulbs (pretty much the same as Swan’s) and started advertising himself as the true inventor. Swan, being a proper English gentleman, was happy to let Edison be the official lightbulb man of America, while he retained right in Britain. Eventually, after a few more scuffles by Edison, the two partnered up to go into business.
While the lightbulb is certainly what Joseph Swan is most rememberd for, his advancements to the process of developing photographic paper was significant. Also, as he was working on fiber filaments made from cellulose for his lightbulbs, he also invented the process that eventually brought us Rayon. By that, you could say he practically invented the era of disco fashion.
That’s all I have to say about my favourite Swan. Now to come up with some topic for “Eight Maids a’Milking”.
- Source: Joseph Swan – Wikipedia