Updated 05-I-2018

John E. Randall

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.

John E. Randall3

John E. Randall (26 Aug 1861 - 22 Apr 1955) was a competent engineer, although he spent most of his working career in management. Randall was a native of Chambersburg, in Montgomery County, Ohio. He matriculated from Ohio Wesleyan University, being a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. He also did graduate work at Ohio State University.

Randall entered the incandescent lamp business in 1886 when he took a position as electrician in charge of experimental work at the Thomson-Houston Company in Lynn, MA. He then acted as superintendent for about seven years. In 1893, after the Lynn Works closed, Randall started to work at the Columbia Incandescent Lamp Company in St. Louis, MO; in 1895 he was made superintendent of that factory.

In October of 1901 Columbia was purchased by the National Electric Lamp Company of Cleveland. In 1905 Randall became a filament and lamp engineer at National. In 1907 he, with Theodore W. Frech, visited German electrical companies and then returned to Cleveland to plan, organize, equip and operate the first National (later, General Electric) tungsten lamp plant.

In 1908 Randall became a consulting engineer and in 1909 organized the Lamp Development Laboratory. He was manager of the Laboratory until 1915 when he again took the title of consulting engineer. Retirement came in 1931.

Randall was granted U.S. Patent 1,357,724 for a projection lamp. He wrote one of the early treatises on the electric incandescent lamp in 1891. John E. Randall married Lilyan Gatch and they had a son and daughter. He passed away after a long illness in Jamestown, NY. Services were held at Knollwood Cemetery, Mayfield Heights, OH.

  1. "A Practical Treatise on the Incandescent Lamp", John E. Randall, Bubier Publishing Co., Lynn, MA, D. Van Nostrand Co., 1891.
  2. "A Western Lamp Factory", The Electrical World, Vol.XXII No.26, Dec 23 1893, p.483.
  3. Book of the Incas, ca 1930.
  4. "Makers of National - The Spirit and People of an Industrial Organization", Edward J. Covington, Printed by Graphic Communications Operation, GE Lighting, Nela Park, East Cleveland, OH, 1997.