Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cooper Hewitt Electric Co

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of New York

1901 Mr Peter Cooper Hewitt of New York, son of Abram Stevens Hewitt, invented the first practical, commercial mercury vapour lamp.

1902 Established the company with backing from George Westinghouse

Within 2 years of the invention of the lamp, British Westinghouse had introduced it into Europe[1].

Eventually the incandescent lamp displaced the arc lamp for many duties but encouraging results with higher pressure discharges in Europe later re-kindled interest in the USA in mercury lamps for general lighting.

By 1919 the General Electric Co felt sufficiently confident in the future of mercury technology that it bought out the Cooper-Hewitt company. Production was moved from the original factory at 220 West 29th St in Manhattan to GE's new "Vapor Lamp Department" at the Grand St, Hoboken, New Jersey.

1921 Death of Peter Hewitt (1861-1921), inventor of the mercury vapour lamp, mercury acr rectifier and other devices[2].

As new lamp types were developed in Europe they were quickly adopted by GE.

1934 an improved Cooper-Hewitt lamp was developed which continued in production until 1965. In the rest of the world the European-style higher pressure lamps were adopted immediately.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 26 January 1910
  2. The Times, 27 August 1921
  • Lamp technology [1]