Born Aug 24 1901 - Died Aug 10 1987
Discharge Device; Metal Vapor Lamp
Patent Number(s) 2,202,199; 2,182,732
Germer received the Frank P. Brown Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1954 for his fluorescent lamp.
Edmund Germer's development of the fluorescent lamp and the high-pressure mercury-vapor lamp significantly increased the efficiency of lighting devices, allowing for more economical lighting while producing less heat than incandescent light.
Germer was born in Berlin, the son of an accountant. He studied at the University of Berlin during the 1920s, earning a doctorate in lighting technology. His continual goal was to invent a better light source with higher lumen output and lower energy consumption compared to the incandescent lamp.
While working so that he might continue his studies, he co-founded the Rectron Company which was involved in the development of inert gas-glowing cathode rectifiers. After resigning his position as chief physicist, he became a freelance inventor during the 1930s for companies such as Osram and Phillips. Both his fluorescent lamp and high-pressure mercury-vapor lamp were licensed to General Electric.
After World War II, Germer was invited by Engelhardt Industries of Newark, New Jersey to continue his research at Hanovia. In 1951, he brought his wife and son to the United States. Between 1926 and 1955, his patents numbered 22 from the United States and 30 from Germany for being the sole inventor and 100 more in both countries as co-inventor.