On this date in 1818, the German-born inventor Heinrich Göbel, was born.
A controversial figure in the history of lighting, Goebel, who was originally from Germany but later moved to New York, claimed to have created working incandescent bulbs in the 1850s, prior to Edison’s inventions. In 1893, lawyers for three light bulb manufacturers who were sued by Edison Electric Light Co., used the so-called Goebel-defense to assert that Edison’s patents were void because his invention was not novel. The courts found it was “extremely improbable” that Goebel had created a practical bulb in the 1850s and Goebel could not produce any of the devices. Goebel was granted several patents for his later lightbulb innovations but Edison declined to buy the patents.