Objects | Engineering


Joseph Swan's Light bulb, 1881

Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear

Power, Inventions

1800 – 1899

Sunderland born Joseph Swan is responsible for a remarkable invention - the incandescent filament electric lamp (“light bulb”); the oldest light bulb in the world and the beginning of electric light as we know it.

Having produced a less successful example earlier he demonstrated this bulb publicly for the first time on 3 February 1879 at the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle.

Our example was made by Swan in 1881 and used by Lord Armstrong at Cragside, Northumberland - the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power.

By Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828 –1914)

On display at Discovery Museum, second floor Science Maze Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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