Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,138 pages of information and 233,680 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Charles Henry Stearn (1844-1919), founder of the Stearn Electric Lamp Co.
1896 A lamp manufacturer. He promoted the "high voltage" ie 220 volt, lamp. Stated at a meeting of the Municipal Electrical Association that opposition to the movement in favour of 220-volt lamps was gradually dying away.
1919 Obituary 
CHARLES HENRY STEARN was born in Jamaica in 1844.
On leaving school he became a bank clerk, but devoted his spare time to physics and research.
In 1877 he became associated with the late Sir Joseph Swan and endeavoured to produce a satisfactory glow lamp from carbon filaments prepared by Sir Joseph. Succeeding in doing so, a company was then formed in 1880 for the manufacture and development of the lamp, with Mr. Steam as technical manager.
In 1882 he was appointed managing director of the Swan United Electric Light Company.
When the Swan patents expired he started to manufacture electric lamps at Kew Gardens, the business of the Zurich Company being taken over in 1907 when the Stearn Electric Lamp Company was formed with Mr. Stearn as managing director.
He took an active part in the management up to a short time of his death, which occurred after a short illness on the 14th February, 1919. Among his inventions was the process of making artificial silk from viscose.
He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1884.