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Mosley Street

Tyne and Wear

Engineering / Construction, Power

Newcastle’s Mosley Street can boast of being the first street in the world to be lit by electric lamp.

In practice, this was a single electric light placed in a gas lamp holder, but it proved a great success, drew quite a crowd and caused a considerable sensation. . Arguments raged regarding whether Thomas Edison or Joseph Swan invented the ‘electric light’ but, without doubt, the North East of England was once again at the forefront of innovation.

Joseph Wilson Swan, pharmacist, chemist, electrical engineer and inventor unveiled his invention of the first incandescent filament electric lamp at a lecture in February 1879, at the Literary and Philosophical Society on Westgate Road, Newcastle. He followed this up with his Mosley Street demonstration and continued to undertake experiments to improve the quality and reliability of the light produced. His house in Gateshead was the first in England to be wired for domestic electric lighting.

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