Who made the first domestic installation of electric lamps?
The first PERMANENT DOMESTIC INSTALLATION Of electric lamps was made by Moses G. Farmer, a professor at the Naval Training Station at Newport, R.I., who lighted the parlour of his home at 11 Pearl Street, Salem, Mass., with a platinum burner lamp of his own invention in July 1859, It was powered from a galvanic battery located in the cellar of the house.
In Britain the distinction of being the first to light the home with electricity is usually giver! to Col R.E.B. Crompton, who installed arc-lamps, powered from Grove cells, at his home in Porchester Gardens, London, in December 1879.
The first house in Britain to be lighted with incandescent electric lamps was Mr W.G. Armstrong’s country mansion, Cragside, at Rothbury, Northumberland in December 1880. Those in the reception rooms were protected by glass globes, taking the form of hanging ceiling lights, wall-brackets and table-lamps.
The first house in Britain lit with electricity throughout was Berechurch Hall, near Colchester, in 1882. Octavius Coope, for whom the house had just been built, made a careful calculation of the relative costs of installing gas or electricity. In an age before gas was piped into the country, and before any central electricity-supply, the country-house owner who was not content to rely on oil-lamps as his sole means of household illumination was faced with the choice of building either a private gasworks or his own power-station. The big advantage of electricity for those with their own power-station. The big advantage of electricity for those with their own generators was that it was much cheaper to produce than gas, for Coope estimated that Berechurch could be lit for just over £ 200 p.a., whereas the cost of gas would have been closer to E. 400.
Joseph Swan made his first public announcement of his incandescent electric lamp at a meeting of the Newcastle upon Tyne Chemical Society on 18 December 1878. In the course of his lecture he displayed a bulb containing a 1+ in carbon conductor, but was unable to show it in operation, as it had already burned out through excessive current being applied in a laboratory test. A similar lamp was shown alight during another lecture that he gave at Sunderland on 18 January 1879. Although this demonstration took place some 10 months before Edison’s successful laboratory experiment, it cannot be regarded as more than a preliminary stage in the progress towards the production of a marketable electric light bulb. Not until early in 1880 did Swan produce a true filament lamp, employing a carbonized cotton thread similar to that used by Edison, but rather longer lasting. This was the subject of a patent take-n out on 27 November 1880, and under which Swan lamps were subsequently manufactured.
The first commercially produced electric light bulbs were manufactured at the Edison Lamp Works, established at Menlo Park on 1 October 1880.
In Britain commercial production of electric light bulbs was begun by the Swan Electric Light Co. with the opening of a factory at Benwell, just outside Newcastle upon Tyne, early in 1881. Glassblowers were recruited from Germany, since men sufficiently skilled for the delicate process of blowing glass bulbs could not be found in England. The cost per bulb was originally 25 s retail, but by 1883 this had been reduced to 5 s.