the light bulb


that casual moose!
Jun 29, 2003
I thought I read in a book that before edison invented the lightbulb, two guys in canada made a version of it but then sold the pattent to him... if you could confirm or prove this wronk that would help


Smeee heeeeed
Dec 22, 2001
Nottingham, central England
Things are not quite as clear cut as many people seem to think.... ;)

The earliest experiments in electric lighting were conducted by the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy, who produced electric arcs and who also made a fine platinum wire incandescent in air by passing a current through it in the 1820’s. Beginning about 1840 a number of incandescent lamps were patented, but none were commercially successful until the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison produced his carbon-filament lamp in 1879. During the same period various arc lamps were introduced. The first practical arc lamp was installed in a lighthouse at Dungeness, England, in 1862. The American pioneer in electrical engineering, Charles Francis Brush, produced the first commercially successful arc lamp in 1878. Tungsten filaments were substituted for carbon filaments in incandescent lamps in 1907, and gas-filled incandescent lamps were developed in 1913. The fluorescent lamp was introduced in 1938.

Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2002.


Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) was a British chemist and inventor, who pioneered important developments in photography and electric lighting. Swan's active interest in using electricity for lighting had begun in about 1848, when he started experimenting with passing a current through a carbon filament in a vacuum. Later, he tried different filaments, including cotton thread treated with sulphuric acid. Only in the 1870s, however, did the development of a dynamo to produce a steady supply of current and a pump capable of producing a sufficiently high vacuum begin to make a really practical light bulb possible. In 1878 he demonstrated an electric light using a carbon wire in a vacuum bulb. Thomas Edison arrived independently at the same solution the following year. Edison had been more systematic in patenting his developments, however, and attempted to prosecute Swan for patent infringement. The action was defeated, and as part of the settlement the two men merged their production in the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company in 1883. In that year, Swan improved the filament when he found a way of extruding nitrocellulose, which, treated with acetic acid, served as a filament and greatly lengthened the bulb's lifetime. In the early 20th century, this nitrocellulose fibre began to be exploited in textiles as an artificial silk. Swan was knighted in 1904.

Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2002.

So Swan was the first person to make a modern light bulb, and Edison was the first person to patent it a year later.
I can find no references to any Canadian inventors being involved however.

I hope that this helps. :)
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