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 Alexander Lodygin

Born:   October 18, 1847
Deceased:   March 16, 1923)

inventor, created incandescent lamp


Ideas of Alexander Lodygin were well ahead of time his electric flying machine was built 50 years after its invention, his diving apparatus was the father of modern diving suite, wolfram filaments are still in our lamps today.

Alexander Lodygin, famous Russian engineer, was born in the small settlement, called Stenshino in the Tambov region to the family of not very rich noblemen.

Family tradition required Alexander to become a military man, thats in 1859 why he entered Tambov cadet corps, which had a good reputation. The whole family moved to Tambov two years later.

Alexander Lodygin liked the corps and studied there with pleasure. After that, Lodygin was admitted to Voronezh cadet corps, where together with studying the boy worked as a technician in the physics laboratory and supervised a meteorological station. In 1865 young man graduated, but returned to studies the following year. In 1868 Lodygin resigned form military service due to being disappointed in military service.

Alexander Lodygin got employed at Tula ordnance plant as an ordinary worker, and after saving some money, headed for St. Petersburg in order to find funding for his project of electrical flying machine. At the same time Lodygin performed first experiments with incandescent lamps and worked on a diving apparatus. Russian military ministry showed no interest to his flying Lachine, and the inventor wrote to Paris, where the government was eager to use his machine in the war with Prussia. However, France lost the war, and the electric flying machine was never built.

Upon his return to St. Petersburg, the engineer attended lectures in St. Petersburg University, as well as in the Institute of Technology. In 1872 Lodygin submitted application of the patent for his lamp, and in 1874 he got papers for the technique of producing cheap electricity and devices for cheap electric illumination. Lodygins incandescent lamp got patents in many countries. Edison improved the invention of the Russian engineer six years after first Lodygins lamp illuminated streets of St. Petersburg. In the same year, the engineer was awarded the annual Lomonosov prize of the Academy of Sciences.

Years between 1875 and 1878 the scientist spent in Tuapse, where Russian Populists had a colony. The colony was closed in 1878 by local government, which didnt like the idea of populism, and Lodygin returned to St. Petersburg.

Lamps of Alexander Lodygin
In 1880 Russian Technical Society opened its electrotechnical branch, and Alexander Lodygin took active participation in that activity. In 1884 the scientist was awarded at Vienna Electrotechnical Exhibition for his lamps, which showed better parameters than lamps of other participants. However, massive arrests of revolutionaries started in 1884, friends of Lodygin beings among them. The scientists decided to move abroad and spent 23 years away from Russia.

Lodygin worked in France and the United States, created new incandescent lamps, invented electric stoves, electric vehicles, built plants and subways. Among patents, received by the scientist, were lamps with glowing filaments, made of high-melting metals. These patents were later sold to General Electric Company.

In 1895 Alexander married journalist Alma Schmidt, a daughter of a German engineer. The couple had two daughters. Lodygin family returned to Russia in 1907, and Alexander brought a pile of inventions in drafts. The engineer read lectures in the Institute of Electric Technology and worked at construction department of St. Petersburg Railway.

World War I changed all the plans for the future, and the scientist started working on vertical take-off and landing aircraft. In 1917 the Communists came to power, and Lodygin didnt get along with the new regime. Lack of money made the family to immigrate to the United States. Alexander Lodygin refused to return to Russia due to serious illness, when the government invited him. In 1923 the eminent engineer died in Brooklyn.


Kizilova Anna


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