1820 - Warren De La Rue made the first known attempt to produce an incandescent light bulb.
William Robert Grove succeeded in lighting an auditorium with incandescent lamps. The lamps were constructed of platinum coils encased in an inverted glass sealed by water. However they were too expensive and impractical for commercial use.
<- (1840's platinum coil lamp)
1846 - John Daper patented a platinum filament incandescent
electric lamp. Once again however, the design had a high cost and was deemed impractical for widespread commercial use.
<- (1846 electric lamp)
1860 - john way demonstrated that sending electricity through mercury vapor contained in a glass tube could produce light, the precedent for the development of the modern fluorescent light!!
1879 - An american, Thomas Edison & England's joseph swan, produced carbon filament incandescent lamps that actually burned for a practical length of time. Edison's carbon fiber was derived from cotton, they lasted 13.5 hrs. Later improved bulbs of this design lasted for 40 hours. Quite an achievement for back in the day.
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/edison/lightbulb.shtmlsrc="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_A715Z0tP5e0/SbXVFoKVulI/AAAAAAAAABw/9sQgUsmWMOE/s200/1879.gif" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5311385628210215506" /> <- (1879 - this design lasted up to 40 hours)
1880- Poor joseph swan must have been pretty cranky when in 1880, his rival, Edison of america discovered that bamboo produced a better carbon fiber filament. His new design lasted for 1200 hours. thats a pretty big leap from 40 hours.
1903 - materials with higher melting points were discovered. Tantalum filament bulbs were produced with excellent practical manufacturing properties.
1907 - The first commercial tungsten filament for incandescent lamps became available in the US. Tungsten wire manufacturing was still costly and difficult, but this time the design somehow survived the cost problems and were produced anyway.
1925 - frosted glass interior incandescent bulbs were produced to create a "soft light" effect.
1930 - photo flash light bulbs were introduced at this time in photography. That would have been quite the discovery.
1960 - brighter lights were invented using halogen gas which slows the filament evaporation rate. This allowed lights to operate at higher temperatures.
1991 - was the last design that has lead the lightbulb into our modern world. Phillips, a Dutch company, developed a lightbulb that uses magnetic induction to excite a gas to emit light. There are no parts that are able to wear out in this design, so now a lightbulb has the expected lifetime of 60, 000 hours. That is almost 10 years of light from one bulb! Yaayya!