Heinrich Göbel                    biography

  Heinrich GŲbel, the son of a gardener, was born on April,20th 1818 in Springe, which lies at the foot of the Deister. He did his training as a watch maker. After he became independent, he worked for the polytechnic institute in Hanover, the technical university. The young Goebel was already making galvanic batteries, tinkering with electrical apparatus and even built a mercury barometer. He had the idea of having an electric source of light in a compressed space of air well before his 30th birthday in Germany.

This achievement did not earn him enough money to support his wife and children. Goebel thus decided to emigrate to America where, in the 'country of unlimited possibilities', he would be able to use the workface and the versatile technical abilities to full effect. Finally, in 1848, Goebel set off for America. The journey to America in a sailing vessel took three months. He landed in New York and stayed at this famous immigrant port for 45 years until his death in 1893.

 Goebel opened up a shop selling optical instruments on Monroe street in New York, which was situated in a poor area. He had this business for more than 20 years without ever getting wealthy. As soon as he had any money he would put it towards his inventions. There was a lot of excitement and attention when, a few years after his arrival in New York, Heinrich Goebel attached an arc shaped lamp on the roof of his house which was powered by a battery produced from zinc and carbon elements. Goebel was arrested when his neighbors informed the police. The judges verdict was that he was not to get up to any o this mischief in the future. In 1854 his experiment became a reality and the electric bulb gave light to mankind for the first time in history.
He produced the first lamps from glass and Eau de Cologne bottles. He was able to produce a strong light ray with the installation of carbonised bamboo fibres. These lamps reached a life span of up to 400 hours. Goebel did not receive any material results from this achievement and was struggling financially. He built a telescope on the back of a wagon that was nearly 6 meters. On clear, starry nights, and for a small fee, the people of New York were able to look up at the night sky. He brought attention to this telescope by attaching a number of lamps to it. He had a battery under the coachmanís seat and was able to turn the lamps on and off. This electric light did cause a lot of people to stop and look at it but itís further success was limited and it wasnít a revolutionary invention.
 Heinrich Goebel died  on the fourth of December, 1893.