chapter  23
8 Pages


In 1879 there was the beginning of a global lighting revolution orchestrated by competition between inventors including Thomas Edison, William Edward Sawyer and Philip Diehl (USA), Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans (Canada) and Joseph Swann (UK). The first public building in the world to use Edison’s new incandescent lamps was the Mahen Theatre in Brno, Moldavia (now Czech Republic). Francis Jehl, Edison’s assistant in the invention of the lamp, supervised the installation at Brno in 1882. In the following year the Czech National Theatre in Prague became the most technically advanced building of its type in the world, with the installation of electric illumination and a constructional steel stage. These buildings accommodated dance and ballet training and performance, placing sports-type facilities at the heart of the electric light revolution. The lamps were the first that would last a practical length of time – 13.5 hours initially.