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Daniel McFarlan Moore

Lehigh Life and Early Career

Daniel McFarlan Moore was born in Pennsylvania and attended Lehigh University from 1884-1889. Moore studied Electrical Engineering and focused primarily on electrical lightin g. Moore quickly found employment working under Thomas Edison in the engineering department of the United Edison Manufacturing Company, where he worked until 1894. During this time, Moore began experimenting with different forms of lighting. In 1894, Moore left the United Edison Manufacturing Company to form his own companies, the Moore Electric Company and the Moore Light Company.

The Moore Lamp

After experimenting with different types of light sources, Moore began focusing on using glow discharges to produce light. By 1986, Moore had devised a glow discharge lighting system, creating an extension to the Geissler tube. The light functioned when an electrical current caused the gas within the Geissler tube to glow. The Moore lamps utilized nitrogen or carbon dioxide as the luminous gas because these gases emitted a soft white light.

His technique was the first commercially viable light-source based on gas discharge instead of incandescence, and is considered the predecessor to contemporary neon and fluorescent lighting and still in use today. Moore also wrote technical papers for the AIEE about his lamp: "A New Method for the Control of Electric Energy", "Recent Developments in Vacuum Tube Lighting".

Later Life

In 1912, Moore's companies were bought by General Electric. Moore continued to work with General Electric and while working there invented a miniature neon lamp that was used in electronic displays throughout the 20th century and was the precursor of the plasma display. Moore continued working with the miniature neon lamp, and in 1917, Moore invented the negative glow neon lamp, which used coronal discharge to create light. These quickly became popular for household items, such as home appliances, until the 1970s when LED-lights were invented. In 1924, Moore also invented vacuum bulbs, which after being improved upon in 1925, helped make television possible.

Moore was the holder of over 100 different patents throughout his lifetime and the recipient of the John Scott Medal of The Franklin Institute in 1911. Moore lived with his family in East Orange, New Jersey until his untimely death in 1936.

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