Ed Hammer, Creator of Energy-Saving Light Bulb, Remembers


Ed Hammer, inventor of the compact fluorescent light bulb (the spiral-shaped energy-saving ones that are more expensive and less pleasant than incandescents) looks back on his world-changing invention in an interview with ZDNet news. As is often the case, his employer, GE, paid him to design, develop and perfect the idea, and then sat on it until a competitor beat them to the market after learning of the technology.

“That’s how it became widespread,” Hammer said. Still, “it has been a big hit for GE.” Hammer hasn’t done badly either. He has published more than 40 papers and was awarded the Edison Medal by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2002.

Now a runaway success, this was ready for action as long ago as 1976, according to Hammer, who added that he was told it would never work as an alternative to standard bulbs. Now, thirty years later, the ingenious design is itself under pressure from an even more efficient competitor: panchromatic LEDs.Father of the compact fluorescent bulb looks back [ZDNet]

Ed Hammer, Creator of Energy-Saving Light Bulb, Remembers

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