Early development of incandescent lamp
The filament of an incandescent lamp is a resistor. If electrical power is applied, it is converted to heat in the filament. The filament gets rid of heat mainly by radiation. The filament's temperature is very high, generally over 2000 degrees Celsius. At such a high temperatures, the thermal radiation from the filament includes a significant amount of visible light.
1809 - Humphry Davy an English chemist, produced the first electric light connecting two wires to a battery and attached a charcoal strip to the other ends of the wires. The charged carbon glowed making the first arc lamp.
1820 - Warren De la Rue enclosed a platinum coil in an evacuated tube and passed an electric current through it. The invention was worked but the cost of the platinum made it impossible for general use.
1850 - Edward Shepard invented an electrical incandescent arc lamp using a charcoal filament. Joseph Wilson Swan started working with carbonized paper filaments the same year.
1854 - Henrich Globel, a German watchmaker, invented the first true lightbulb. He used a carbonized bamboo filament placed inside a glass bulb. This filament was mentioned as lasting up to 400 hours. Some writer regard Goebel as the inventor of the incandescent lamp.
1875 - Herman Sprengel invented the mercury vacuum pump being necessary to make a really good vacuum inside the bulb.
1878 - Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, an English physicist, was the first person who developed a practical and longer-lasting electic lightbulb (13.5 hours) using a carbon fiber filament derived from cotton.
1879 - Thomas Alva Edison invented a carbon filament that burned for forty hours and placed his filament in an oxygenless bulb. Edison's design based on the 1875 patent he purchased from Canadian inventors, Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans. Next year he continued to improve his lightbulb until it could last for over 1200 hours using a bamboo-derived filament.
1903 - Willis Whitnew invented the metal-coated carbon filament that would not make the inside of a lightbulb turn dark.
1906 - The General Electric Company patented a method of making tungsten filaments for use in lightbulbs. The tungsten evaporate more slowly than carbon, however, the production was costly.
1910 -William David Coolidge improved the method of making tungsten filament made the production cheaper. The tungsten filament outlasted all other types.