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LIGHTING A REVOLUTION

“I had the mortification one fine morning of finding you on my track and in several particulars ahead of me — but now I think I have shot ahead of you and yet I feel there is almost an infinity of detail to be wrought out in the large application now awaiting development and that your inventive genius as well as my own will find very ample room for exercise in carrying out this gigantic work that awaits execution.”

– Joseph Swan in a letter to Thomas Edison, 24 September 1880

Inventor Thomas Edison was originally credited for inventing the light bulb, being the smart business man that he was. However, it was Englishman Joseph Swan’s breakthrough that initially shone the light on the first electrical light bulb a whole year earlier than Edison in 1878.

The quote was an extract from a letter written by Joseph Swan to Thomas Edison, while it appears it was never sent, Swan was able to achieve his well deserved recognition for inventing the first electrical light bulb and we have chosen to honour him too.

An inventor is someone who not only thinks outside the box, but also applies the right means to take it that step further.  Someone who explores their mind to create an existence out of just a thought. An inventor is an opportunist, one who prides himself on originality by creating or discovering something new and unique.

Joseph Swan was born in Sunderland, England on the 31st October 1828. An inventor and physicist that spent years perfecting the incandescent light bulb – his house was the first to be lit up by his invention. However, across the pond in America, Thomas Edison was also working on creating his light bulb.  Many people, even to this day still believe that Edison was the original inventor. It was for his realisation about high resistance, understanding that a very thin ‘filament’ with high resistance would make it practical. Whereas, Swan used a carbon rod with low electrical resistance that meant the lamp wouldn’t stay lit for very long. Acceptable for experimental use but wouldn’t have lasted as long for commercial use. Due to this, Swan didn’t get his recognition at the time (as seen in the quote) and the breakthrough idea went to Edison.

Therefore, we pay homage to Sir Joseph Swan (1828-1914) with our Joseph light bulb. It is a GLS shaped bulb – the same shape as Sir Joseph Swan’s light bulbs.

Join in with the conversation on Twitter #lightmytuesday.