Is that – no way – it’s Heinrich Göbel! (Dude, who invited this guy?) Happy Birthday, Heinrich!
He looks like the kind of guy who should be in movies with Emilio Estevez and Lou Diamond Phillips about the Old West. This guy though, Heinrich Göbel (April 20, 1818 – December 4, 1893), is significant in the history of lighting, and maybe more specifically, lighting manufacturing. You see, Heinrich here claimed to have invented the electric light bulb too, right along with Swan and Edison. Of course, like others, Heinrich claimed that he was actually the one who invented the lamp for the first time.
The US Patent office kind of discounted everything that Heinrich said about the patent “violation” that he claimed, and at one point Heinrich even recreated the tools used to make his lamp. Still, no one bought it. Since the Patent courts don’t allow witnesses as proof of invention, Heinie’s stuff pretty much got tossed out. From Wikipedia:
Judge Colt explained how he ruled based on probabilities:
“It is extremely improbable that Henry Göbel constructed a practical incandescent lamp in 1854. This is manifest from the history of the art for the past fifty years, the electrical laws which since that time have been discovered as applicable to the incandescent lamp, the imperfect means which then existed for obtaining a vacuum, the high degree of skill necessary in the construction of all its parts, and the crude instruments with which Göbel worked.”
Well, so much for that. Unfortunately for Heinrich, he died about two months after all of that litigation took place.
Check out Heinrich Göbel’s lamp, and the US Patent below:
Crazy. Happy Birthday though, Heinrich!