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U.S. Patent 3,243,634
Frederick Mosby's Tungsten Halogen A-Lamp

Image of Frederick Mosby's tungsten halogen A-lamp patent, 1966

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 "A-Line."

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. 

"Some of 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 grocery stores.

The image above has been enhanced electronically.


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