Lodygin, Aleksandr Nikolaevich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lodygin, Aleksandr Nikolaevich


Born Oct. 6 (18), 1847, in the village of Sten’shino, present-day Petrovskoe Raion, Tambov Oblast; died Mar. 16, 1923. Russian electrical engineer; inventor of the incandescent lamp. Son of a nobleman.

Lodygin graduated from the Moscow-Military School in 1867 and resigned from the service shortly thereafter. In 1872 he claimed and in 1874 received the Russian patent for an incandescent lamp (patent no. 1619, dated July 11, 1874). He also patented his invention in Austria, Great Britain, France, and Belgium. In Lodygin’s lamp a thin rod of retort carbon enclosed in a glass bulb was the incandescent body. In August 1873, Lodygin demonstrated his incandescent lamp in the physics auditorium of the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. In 1873–74 he worked on experimental lighting of ships, industrial establishments, and streets. In 1874 the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences awarded Lodygin the Lomonosov Prize for the invention of the lamp. In the same year the A. N. Lodygin and Co. Association for Electric Lighting was founded in Russia.

During the 1890’s, Lodygin invented several types of incandescent lamps with metal filaments; he was the first to use tungsten as the incandescent body. He also built electric heating devices, electric furnaces for melting metals and ores, and respirators with electrolytic production of oxygen. Lodygin’s other works concerned electric traction and the electrification of cottage industry. He was one of the founders of the electrical engineering department of the Russian Technical Society and of the journal Elektrichestvo (Electricity). In 1899 the St. Petersburg Institute of Electrical Engineering awarded him an honorary electrical engineering degree.

From the early 1880’s until 1905 and after 1916, Lodygin worked abroad. He died in the USA.


O sposobakh dobyvaniia elektricheskoi energii ν Olonetskoi i Nizhegorodskoi guberniiakh dlia po’zovaniia eiu ν mestnykh kustarnykh promyslakh. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Notice sur les lampes à arc et à incandescence. Paris, 1886.


Trudy VI Vserossiiskogo elektrotekhnicheskogo s”ezda. St. Petersburg, 1911. Fascicle 1.
Russkie elektrotekhniki 19 v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Bel’kind, L. D. Aleksandr Nikolaevich Lodygin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.