Archives biographies: Paul Jablochkoff 1847-1894

Biographical information on Paul Jablochkoff and his work on the `electric candle'.

Paul Jablochkoff was a Russian telegraph engineer who had risen to the post of director of telegraphs between Moscow and Kursk. In 1875 he resigned, planning to travel to America to see the international exhibition in Philadelphia. However he only got as far as France. 

In Paris he met Louis Bréguet (1804-1883) who had developed telegraphs and electric clocks for the French navy and railways. Bréguet gave Jablochkoff the use of his laboratory and in 1876 Jablochkoff developed his electric 'candle'. The Jablochkoff Candle was one of the first arc lamps to be used in large quantities.

Jablochkoff Candles in fixed brackets. SPT pamphlet 14/11

Jablochkoff Candles, as shown here, are from a pamphlet held in the S.P. Thompson Collection on Arc Lamps. This pamphlet is The Jablochkoff Electric Light at the Paris Electrical Exhibition 1881. Here the candles are fixed in brackets supported in a circular frame, the upper part of which is recessed to carry a globe of opal glass which is capped with a coronet and cover plate. 

A saucer of opal glass rests on the base of the brackets, it screens the clips and serves to catch the small sparks which are produced when the candle is lighted.