Updated 26-XII-2018

Jean Baptiste Ambroise Marcellin Jobard

This article was written by fellow lamp engineer and collector Edward J. Covington, and originally appeared on his own website of biographical sketches of persons involved in the lamp industry. Following his passing in February 2017, and with kind permission of his family, Ed's words have been preserved here in the hope of maintaining access to his writings for the benefit of subsequent generations.

Jean-Baptise Jobard

Jean Baptiste Ambroise Marcellin Jobard (1792-1861) became the Director of the Industrial Museum in Brussels, Belgium in 18412,5. Although Jobard himself apparently did not experiment with an electric incandescent lamp, he was influential in directing a former student of his in that direction. The following information comes from an article written by A. Gelyi1:
"It was Professor Jobard, of Brussels, who gave the first impulse to the highly important experiments with glow lamps. This savant suggested, in the year 1838, in the Courrier Libéral, that a small strip of carbon in a vacuum used as a conductor of a current, would emit an intense, fixed, and durable light. Prof. Jobard then advised his former pupil, de Changy, to attempt the practical realisation of his idea. De Changy was the more ready to enter upon the necessary experiments as he, in his capacity of mining engineer, considered he would be able to open up a wide field for glow light illumination in the shafts and galleries of mines."
As an aside, it is of interest to mention that Jobard apparently had some interest in the lighting of mines because he invented an economical oil lamp. The lamp was called a "lamp for the poor" or "lamp for one"4; it was designed as a light source for just one person. Jobard published at least ten articles in the scientific literature from 1835-18583.

  1. "A Short History of Incandescence Lamps", A. Gelyi, The Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review, Vol.XVI, 31 Jan 1885, pp.89-91; 7 Feb 1885, pp.111-113; 14 Feb 1885, pp.139-140.
  2. "Jobard", Biographie Nationale, Vol.X, Brussels, 1888-1889, pp.493-499.
  3. Catalog of Scientific Papers, Compiled by the Royal Society of London, Vol III, Scarecrow Reprint Corp., Metuchen, NJ, 1968, p.550.
  4. Communication from Mrs. Marie-Christine Claes, Brussels, Belgium, to the writer.
  5. Communication from Jacques Debergh, Brussels, Belgium, to the writer.