JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Thomas Edison's November 1879 patent on the incandescent light bulb is generally take as being the first great step into the modern age of electric lighting, this following decades of other groundbreaking research by a dozen others in the field. And so electric was popularly brought to the popular world, though it existed elsewhere decades earlier--for example, in lighthouses, where the first electric arc lamp was used beginning in 1858. By the time this image (below) appeared in The Engineer in 1887, there were nearly thirty years of improvements to the electric light house--and the cross section of the lamp at the Isle of May from this issue proves to be a particularly beautiful example of art-in-engineering. The first lighthouse on this remote piece of land off the coast of Scotland appeared about 200 years earlier--a coal-fired light. This one, built beginning in 1885, would be extraordinarily powerful, achieving as much as 6-million candlepower.
And the full image, occupying the top third of the page: