Westinghouse "Stopper Lamp"

George Westinghouse (1846-1914)1893/1893

History San José

History San José
San Jose, United States

This original stopper lamp was used, and burned out, on the newly invented Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair), where George Westinghouse dramatically demostrated the superiority of transmitting electricity by alternating current. Westinghouse handed this bulb to six-year old Douglas Perham, then visiting the fair with his parents. Westinghouse told the boy to save such things because they would one day have historical significance. The bulb became the starting point of Perham's life as a collector as well as an electronics pioneer, and the centerpiece of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics.


  • Title: Westinghouse "Stopper Lamp"
  • Creator: George Westinghouse (1846-1914)
  • Date: 1893/1893
  • Physical Dimensions: 11.5 x 5 x 4 in.
  • Provenance: First object of the original Douglas M. Perham collection, later acquired as part of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics, History San José
  • Type: physical object

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