Who invented the electric bulb? Edison? Wrong!

If you all have been taught that Thomas Alva Edison was the one that invented the Electric bulb then I have to tell you that you’re absolutely wrong!

The history goes back in the early 19th century in 1802 when the mentor of great inventor Sir Micheal Faraday, Humphry Davy made a long series of batteries at the Royal Institute, Briston in London. He joined two the copper rods that carried the high current and resulted in an enormous glow, his invention was known as the Arc Lamp this was later used as a subject that electricity can be used as a form of light.

Over the next seven decades, other inventors also created “light bulbs” but no designs emerged for the commercial application. More notably, in 1840, British scientist Warren de la Rue enclosed a coiled platinum filament in a vacuum tube and passed an electric current through it. The design was based on the concept that the high melting point of platinum would allow it to operate at high temperatures and that the evacuated chamber would contain fewer gas molecules to react with the platinum, improving its longevity. Although an efficient design, the cost of the platinum made it impractical for commercial production.

In 1850 an English physicist named Joseph Wilson Swan created a “light bulb” by enclosing carbonized paper filaments in an evacuated glass bulb. And by 1860 he had a working prototype, but the lack of a good vacuum and an adequate supply of electricity resulted in a bulb whose lifetime was much too short to be considered an effective producer of light.

Together with Swan, Edison started the improvements to be made in the bulb that could be commercialized.


In 1878, Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp and on October 14, 1878, Edison filed his first patent application for “Improvement In Electric Lights“.
Edison through is vigorous research at the very first RnD center in New Jersey saw the breakthrough in the Light bulb. He improved the so-called Electric bulb by using a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platinum contact wires in place of many materials that were tested to withstand high current.

Edison started its first manufacturing in 1880, Thomas Edison’s company, Edison Electric Light Company. And after 26 years (in 1906) of the manufacturing Edison finally came to a conclusion that Tungsten in place of a carbon filament was better suited with the vacuum inside the bulb.

[This post is no way an intention to put Thomas Alva Edison down, He was a remarkable inventor that patented 1000 of inventions under his name. This post is only to bring knowledge to people that there were many scientists that put their work into making an electric bulb.]

[Image by:By LPS.1 – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29802905%5D



  1. Excellent post! From what I’ve seen, nearly everything we think of as an invention or innovation was built upon a series of previous attempts to do the same thing or by blending previous inventions to do something new or unique. The person (or persons) who usually get the credit for “inventing” something are the ones who are successful in being able to commercialize it and bring it to the general population cheaply enough for them to afford it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marvelous! The way u explained it really looking forward to see your next post. I wish i had a friend like u who has such vast knowledge about stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your blog gives knowledge on the little things of our everyday life that are ignored.
    You are doing a great work here.
    Keep us updated 🙂
    Wishing all the success for this blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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