Updated 04-I-2018

Edmund Louis Gray Zalinski

This article is based on a document of fellow lamp engineer and collector Edward J. Covington, which appeared on his 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 and subsequently expanded with new material by this author, to maintain continued access to the research he initiated.

Edmund Zalinski (1849 - 1909) is better known for his achievements and inventions for the military than for any contribution to the development of lighting. However, at the latter stage of his life he did verture into the lighting field and this short note suggests that he deserves a mention in its history.

Edmund Zalinski was born in Kurnick, Poland and came to the United States with his parents in 1853. In 1865 he joined the army during the Civil War. Zalinski was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant after exhibiting gallantry at Hatcher's Run, Virginia. He continued to serve in the army and then during the period 1872-1876 he taught military science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Some of his inventions that were related to his military service can be found in the internet links in the references below.

Prior to 1893 Zalinski suffered a stroke of paralysis and he took an extended trip to Europe. Upon returning, his health had improved but in early 1894 the Army Retiring Board recommended that he retire. It was after retirement from the army that Zalinski became interested in shades and reflectors5,6 for incandescent lamps. A lamp made for him in Niles, Ohio can be found in the William J. Hammer Collection, No. 1904-845. A rather poor picture of that lamp, trimmed from the larger picture, is shown below.

References & Bibliography
  1. "A New Submarine Torpedo Boat", Scientific American, Aug 7 1886.
  2. Personal, Electrical Review, Vol.22, May 13 1893, p.159.
  3. Personal, Electrical Review, Vol.24, Jan 1, 1894, p.15.
  4. "Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States", J. H. Brown, 1903.
  5. E. L. Zalinski, Reflector, U. S. Patent No. 756,194, Mar 29 1904.
  6. E. L. Zalinski, Reflector, U. S. Patent No. 775,741, Nov 22 1904.
  7. "American Men of Science", J. M. Cattell, 1906.
  8. "Zalinski, Dynamite Gun Perfecter, Dead", New York Times, Mar 11 1909, p.9 col.5,7.
  9. "Obituary, Major E. L. A.(G.) Zalinski", Electrical World, Vol.LIII, Mar 18 1909, p.710.
  10. "Edward Louis Gray Zalinski", Wheeler Preston, American Biographies, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1940, p.1146.
  11. "E. L. G. Zalinski", Who Was Who in America, Vol.1 (1897-1942), 1st Ed., pg.1394.
  12. Edmund Louis Gray Zalinski
  13. The Zalinski Dynamite Gun
  14. The Zalinski Boat Under Construction