From new incandescent light bulb to new lamp

Explaining how a Dutchman capitalized on the newly-invented incandescent light bulb in 1926.

By NEMO Science Museum

Carbon wire filament incandescent light bulb (1904/1905) by Philips GloeilampenfabriekenNEMO Science Museum

The first incandescent light bulbs with a filament were marketed around 1880, thanks to scientists including Thomas Edison.

Just like the light from a gaslight, the light from this incandescent light bulb had a warm glow which made it a great electric replacement for a lot of people.

Philips started production of this type of lamp in 1892.

Metal wire filament incandescent light bulb (1913/1920) by Philips GloeilampenfabriekenNEMO Science Museum

The Philips Metal Filament Lamp Factory Ltd. was founded in 1907. Here Philips produced the latest type of incandescent light bulb, with a metal filament.

The great advantage of metal filaments was that lamps produced more and brighter light and a lot less electricity was required to generate the same amount of light.

The drawback to this new type of filament was that the lamp caused a glare.

Pendant lamp (1920/1930) by GispenNEMO Science Museum

To negate this effect, W.H. Gispen invented the Giso lamp in 1926 in Rotterdam.

Giso lamps were made from crystal glass covered by a thin layer of opal glass.

As a result, the lamp gave off more and paler light than the milk glass that was popular at the time.

The Giso lamp ensured a higher light output and more economic energy consumption and prevented glare.

It was the perfect lamp for the new incandescent light bulb.

Pendant lamp (1920/1930) by GispenNEMO Science Museum

In addition, the lamp was designed using various interchangeable standard components, which made it easier to produce a wide range of lamps.

Pendant lamp (1932) by GispenNEMO Science Museum

The lamps in the NEMO collection were found in a building owned by the KEMA inspection institute for the Dutch energy sector on the Den Brink estate in Arnhem.

Credits: Story

Object of the Month – October 2020

Every month NEMO Science Museum showcases one of the 19,000 extraordinary objects in its collection. These objects, which were once part of people’s everyday lives, show us how technology has changed over time.

This story was written with help from Stichting Gispen Collectie.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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