U.S. Patent 3,243,634
Frederick Mosby's Tungsten Halogen A-Lamp
General Electric engineer Frederick Mosby developed this
lamp not long after the invention of tungsten halogen lighting. Instead of a
tubular lamp needing special fixtures, this lamp would replace a regular light
bulb in any regular socket. In the lighting industry ordinary light bulbs are
known as "A-Lamps" and an entire product line is an
Mosby described this patent in a 1996 interview, "When
we were developing the [tungsten halogen] lamp,
we could see was just millions and millions of lamps because that's what we sell
in A-Lines. Certainly, I
felt that if we ever got it to the point where we knew how to control things and
make it, we would replace standard incandescent lamps with halogens.
our managers didn't agree with that, they
felt it was a specialty lamp, and would never get into the high-volume markets.
It was just our opinion against theirs, because you really don't know until you
get the lamp out. We were
wrong, management was right. Once
they got to the point where they could shrink the fluorescent lamps, make them
compact, then obviously that's the way to go rather than this."
Although GE elected to shelve the design at the time, events in the 1970s caused
the company (and other lamp makers) to take a fresh look at tungsten halogen.
Today, though they have not universally replaced regular light bulbs, lamps very similar to Mosby's design can be found in most hardware and
The image above has been enhanced electronically.