'Mr Swan's electrical workshop in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne', 1881.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from 'La Lumiere Electrique' (1881). Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914), English scientist and inventor, invented the incandescent electric lamp in Britain at about the same time as Thomas Edison patented it in the United States. He also invented a vacuum pump for light bulbs, the synthetic fibre Rayon and several photographic proceses. Later, Edison joined up with Swan to form the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Company.