SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dimmer lamp electrics, 19th-century artwork. This combination of a rheostat (left) and commutator (lower right) is being used to enable an electric lamp (upper right) to be dimmed. This was designed to be used in hospitals, but could be adapted for use elsewhere. Dimmer lamps were first developed in around 1890. These early types were inefficient and required cooling. It was not until the 1950s that sold-state electronics allowed safer, more compact dimmers. Artwork from the 19th volume (first period of 1897) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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