Reproduction 1879 light bulb, ca. 1929Item 74866 info
Maine Historical Society
Since 1802, when Sir Humphrey Davy made the first incandescent lamp, scientists have worked to develop better filaments and more reliable light bulbs.
Heating the filament produces light – and blackens the inside of the bulb. Creating a vacuum inside the glass decreases the blackening and, hence, increases the light.
Over the years, Joseph Swan, Thomas Edison, and others experimented with filaments made of platinum, carbonized threads or paper, carbonized bamboo, cellulose, tantalum, and tungsten.
They also perfected the vacuum process.