By William Gurstelle

Humphry Davy and the Arc Light


BRILLIANT MISTAKES: Humphry Davy, chemist, inventor, and philosopher: “I have learned more from my failures than from my successes.”


Image from National Portrait Gallery, London

» Thomas Edison did not invent the first electric light.* More than 70 years before Edison’s 1879 incandescent lamp patent, the English scientist Humphry Davy developed a technique for producing controlled light from electricity.

Sir Humphry Davy (1778–1829) was one of the giants of 19th-century science. ...

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