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St. George Lane Fox Pitt (1856-1932)
Pioneer of electric lighting, otherwise known as George Lane-Fox
1856 Born in Malta; second son of Lieut-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers and his wife Alice
1877 Invented an electrical device for lighting public gas lamps.
1878 Invented the Lane-Fox system of electric lighting (using small incandescent lamps in parallel) and took out a patent on it which was one of the first in that field.
1878 Wrote a detailed letter to The Times making a case for public electricity supply by comparison with the well-known gas supply
1881 Demonstration of electric lighting using incandescent lamps which were "almost identical" to those Mr Edison, Mr Swan and Mr Maxim but the system of distribution was different and patented. The demonstration was staged by British Electric Light Co in Palace chambers, Westminster. Mr Lane Fox also demonstrated that electricity could be used to boil water Read a paper at the Society of Telegraph Engineers about the use of electricity for lighting and heating for domestic purposes.
1882 Describing himself as consulting electrical engineer of Threadneedle St, he advertised to warn others that an electrical distribution system using accumulators, dynamos and incandescent lamps was covered by his patent on 1878.
1882-1884: Lane Fox and the Vienna-based Anglo Austrian Brush Electrical Company Limited introduce electric street lighting to the whole town of Temesvar (modern-day Timișoara) in Hungary (now Romania). Completed in 1884, this was one of the earliest and most extensive uses of electric street lighting in Europe at the time
1892 Brought an action for infringement of his patent against R.E.B. Crompton's company, the Kensington and Knightsbridge Electric Lighting Co. Ltd. in the High Court, but lost owing to "insufficiency" of the patent. Later the same year, the Court of Appeal also ruled against Lane Fox, holding that his patent "was invalid on the grounds of variance, want of utility, and insufficiency of the Specification". A further appeal was then reported as being made to the Supreme Court, presenting his case himself (presumably lost there too).
1912 Mr Campbell-Swinton remarked at the Royal Institution that Fox Pitt was "the first to imagine, or at least patent, a public electricity supply to all and sundry."
1932 Died at home in London