Updated 26-XII-2018

George R. Lean

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.

An obituary appeared in the Electrical Review in 18971 that told of the life and death of a young electrical engineer. The article read as follows:
"The news of the death of George R. Lean, of Cleveland, will be a great shock to his many friends throughout the country. During the past few years Mr. Lean had exhibited a very high order of inventive talent, and those who knew him best believed him capable of great things.

"Mr. Lean was a New England man and before going to Cleveland had held several important positions—among them the superintendency of the old Sun company, of Woburn, and the superintendency of the Bernstein Electric Company. For several years past he has been superintendent of the Buckeye Electric Company and electrician of the Jandus Electric Company. In these last positions, which he held simultaneously, he had done his best work, making valuable improvements in arc and incandescent lamps and the method of their manufacture. A number of valuable patents were granted covering these inventions.

"He died suddenly in Cleveland, on July 9, after an operation for appendicitis. His age was but 35 years, and his untimely end is deeply mourned by all that knew him."

From 1896 through 1898 Lean was granted nine arc lamp patents as well as one reissue, where Jandus was the assignor2. Patents granted to George Lean that are related to the incandescent lamp are listed below. Two non-lamp related patents were granted in 18912

  1. US 431,776 - Jul 8, 1890 - Incandescent Lamp - Bernstein
  2. US 444,567 - Jan 13, 1891 - Incandescent Lamp Socket - Bernstein
  3. US 445,957 - Feb 3, 1891 - Electric Switch - Bernstein
  4. US 446,623 - Feb 17, 1891 - Electric Switch - Bernstein
  5. US 449,266 - Mar 31, 1891 - Hanger Board for Electric Fixtures - Bernstein
  6. US 461,761 - Oct 20, 1891 - Electric Switch - Bernstein
  7. US 487,846 - Dec 13, 1892 - Casing for Bases of Incandescent Lamps - Bernstein
  8. US 533,223 - Jan 29, 1895 - Incandescent Electric Lamp -
  9. US 568,142 - Sep 22, 1896 - Apparatus for Manufacturing Incandescence Electric Lamps - Buckeye

  1. "Death of George R. Lean", Electrical Review, Vol.31 No.8, Aug 25, 1897, p.87.
  2. Arc lamp patents granted to Lean with Jandus as the assignor: 553,919; 553,920; 553,921; 571,974; 571,974; 571,976. Three patents issued after Lean's death were: 593,899; 598,942; 598,943. Two non-lamp related patents, granted in 1891, were 459,783 and 459,781. The reissue patent was No. 11,559, in 1896.