Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Busting Pinoy Pride: Flores Didn't Invent the Fluorescent lamp.

Agapito Flores has been acclaimed by some Filipinos as the inventor of the first fluorescent lamp. However, the dates are all wrong for this being possible. The following points have been taken from "The History of Fluorescent Lights"

It has been reported that Agapito Flores received a French patent for a fluorescent bulb and that the General Electric Company bought Flores' patent rights and manufactured and sold his fluorescent bulb (making millions from it). However, all the inventors named above and more predate Agapito Flores' possible work on any fluorescent bulb.

According to Dr. Benito Vergara of the Philippine Science Heritage Center, "As far as I could learn, a certain Flores presented the idea of fluorescent light to Manuel Quezon when he became president. At that time, General Electric Co. had already presented the fluorescent light to the public."

The development started with experiments in the 1840s by British scientists, George C. Stokes, Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. A German glass blower, Heinrich Geissler, continued with the experiments and in 1856 produced a vacuum tube that would produce a green glow when a current was passed through it. The tube had little practical value because the green light didn't provide useful illumination. However, Julius Plucker and Alexandre Bequerel experimented with the tube. Bequerel discovered that certain minerals glowed when they were in an operating tube and added coatings to the inside of the tube that would glow. 

Busting a Pinoy Pride: Did a Filipino Invent the Lunar Rover?

1. There was indeed an Eduardo San Juan who worked for Boeing at the time when the LRV was being developed. He wasn't a senior developer, just one of the technicians.

2. The inventor of the LRV are the following men: Dr. M.G. Bekker, Bruce Velasco, Frank Pavlics, Sam Romano. Thus, San Juan had NO HAND in its design concepts and development. He probably worked on it like other engineers at Boeing, and that's the extent of his contributions.

Note: There was indeed an Engineer named Eduardo San Juan, but he worked on a project called MoLab (Mobile Laboratory) Rover, a subproject in the Apollo programme that aimed to land a large pressurized mobile laboratory on the moon. San Juan did a study and even made a few sketches of his large rover design, but it is important to note that he did all this TWO YEARS after Grumman already got the contract to build the smaller LRV, which was the final rover design that got onboard Apollo 15, 16 and 17.


Note: Now this is a good article that will "put the nail in the lid" of this urban legend. READ HERE.