Warren de la Rue Creates First Light Bulb

Warren De la Rue (18 January 1815 – 19 April 1889) was a British astronomer and chemist, most famous for his pioneering work in astronomical photography.

He was the Son of Thomas De la Rue, the founder of the large firm of stationers of that name in London, Warren was born in Guernsey. Having completed his education in Paris, he entered his father's business, but devoted his leisure hours to chemical and electrical researches, and between 1836 and 1848 published several papers on these subjects.

In 1840, Warren De la Rue enclosed a platinum coil in a vacuum tube and passed an electric current through it, thus creating the world's first light bulb. The design was based on the concept that the high melting point of platinum would allow it to operate at high temperatures and that the evacuated chamber would contain less gas molecules to react with the platinum, improving its longevity. Although it was an efficient design, the cost of the platinum made it impractical for commercial use.