portrait

Sir Joseph Wilson Swan
Timeline of his life







A timeline of Joseph Swan's life
1828 Born on Oct 31st to John and Isabella Swan (an inquisitive child)
1844 began as an assistant in 'Mawsons' a firm of manufacturing chemists
  – worked his way up to partner
1840's Began experimenting with incandescent filaments for lighting
1860 UK patent for carbon filament incandescent lamp operating in partial vacuum
  – not very practical: too short a life
1862 Patented first commercially feasible procedure for carbon printing
1864 Patented the 'Carbon Process' leading to the 'Dry Plate' photography process
1871 Invented the photographic 'Dry Plate'
1878 Obtained his first patent for an iimproved electric light
1879 (February) Demonstrated an advanced light bulb at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
1879 Developed bromide photographic paper
1880 Another demonstrtion at the literary and Philosophical Society when he lit the room by replacing 70 gas lamps with 20 incandescent electric lamps
1880 Patented the improved lamp in the UK and in the USA
188? Patented a process to obtain nitro-cellulose fibres (used in later electric lights and also in the textile industry to create artificial fibres
1894 (7th June) Elected to the Royal Society
1894 Moved to London to take up several scietific appointments
1898 Elected President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers
  –(President from 1898 to 1899)
1900 Made an honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
1901 Became President of the Society of Chemical Engineers
1901 Awarded an honorary Doctorate (DSc.) by Durham University
1902 Received the Progress Medal from the Royal Photographic Society
1903 Awarded the Medal of the Royal Photographic Society
1903 Awarded the Medal of the Society of the Chemical Industy
1904 Elected as an honorary Member of the Pharmaceutical Society
1904 The Royal Society awarded the Hughes Medal
1904 Knighted by Edward VII
1906 Awarded the Albert medal of the Royal Society of Arts
1911 Became President of the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle
  –(President from 1911 to 1914)
191? Moved to Warlington, North Downs because of ill health due to a weak heart
1914 Died May 27th in Surrey England
1914 Made an honorary Freeman of the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1914.
(The honour was accepted posthumously by his son Kenneth R. Swan)
1996 Joseph Swan School opened (named after the inventer and scientist)
  – Now an Academy to be known as The Joseph Swan Academy
2007 Launch of the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research, Newcastle University