Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (31 October 1828 â€“ 27 May 1914) was a British physicist and chemist, most famous for the invention of the incandescent light bulb for which he received the first patent in 1878. His house (in Gateshead, England) was the first in the world to be lit by a lightbulb. The Lit and Phil lecture theatre in Newcastle was the first public building in the world to be lit by electric light, during a lecture by Swan on October 20, 1880. In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminster, London was lit by Swan incandescent lightbulbs, which was the first theatre, and the first public building in the world, to be lit entirely by electricity.
In 1904, Swan was knighted by King Edward VII, awarded the Royal Society's Hughes Medal, and was made an honorary member of the Pharmaceutical Society. He had already received the highest decoration in France, the LÃ©gion d'honneur, when he visited an international exhibition in Paris in 1881. The exhibition included exhibits of his inventions, and the city was lit with electric light, thanks to Swan's invention. Swan received a British patent for his device in 1878, about a year before Thomas Edison. Joseph Swan - Wikipedia