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Historical review of artificial light sources

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1 Author(s)
Bowers, B. ; Science Museum, Department of Electrical Engineering and Illumination, London, UK

Simple oil lamps have been used for thousands of years, but the first major technical improvement was not made until the late eighteenth century. In the 1860s paraffin replaced the animal and vegetable oils used previously as lamp fuel. During the nineteenth century, gas and electric lighting developed together, the competition providing a stimulus to inventors in both fields. By about 1910 the tungsten filament lamp had become the preferred source of light for most applications, although discharge lighting was aheady available in primitive form. Since the 1930s filament lighting has been superseded by discharge or fluorescent lighting except in domestic use and a few specialised situations.

Published in:

Physical Science, Measurement and Instrumentation, Management and Education - Reviews, IEE Proceedings A  (Volume:127 ,  Issue: 3 )