Sir Joseph Swan: A Pioneer Ahead of His Time

Tuesday 27 May 2014 marks the centenary of Sir Joseph Swan’s death. The inventor, pioneer and scientist was an icon of the North East, and his outstanding contribution to modern technology is still relevant today.

To celebrate the occasion, a special exhibition, ‘Sir Joseph Wilson Swan: a shining light of his time’, organised jointly between Newcastle University and the National Trust, on Swan’s life and legacy will open at Cragside House and Gardens and will run until  2 November.

There will also be a lecture on 27 May at 1pm at the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Library (Lit & Phil), site of the original demonstration of Swan’s incandescent lightbulb. The lecture, which has been organised jointly between the University and the Lit and Phil, will be delivered by Dr Ian Edwards, who previously lectured on Swan as part of the 130th anniversary celebration of the invention of the lightbulb and appeared on the BBC’s One Show, giving a live demonstration of Sir Joseph Swan’s original technology.

If you would like to attend the lecture, please contact the Lit and Phil directly to register. Bookings can be made in person, by telephone 0191 232 0192 or by email Please note that there are very limited tickets available for the lecture, so early booking is strongly advised.

If you are unable to attend the lecture or exhibition, but would like a copy of the commemorative centenary brochure or details of the online resources which will be available following the celebrations, please contact us at

A number of other activities and events will be taking place across the North East of England to mark the centenary, including at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.

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