Daniel McFarlan Moore

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Daniel McFarlan Moore

Birthplace: Northumberland, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: June 15, 1936 (67)
East Orange, Essex, New Jersey, United States (Shot to death by a deranged "inventor" in front of his home in East Orange, NJ)
Place of Burial: Linden, Union, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Alexander Davis Moore and Maria Louisa Moore
Husband of Mary Alice Elliott Moore
Father of Dorothy Mae Moore Burnham Woody; Elliott McFarlan Moore and Beatrice Moore Chase
Brother of Edwin Moore; Louise Virginia Moore; Harriet J. De Gray and William Douglas Moore

Occupation: Electrical Engineer, Inventor
Managed by: Kent Maynard, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Daniel McFarlan Moore

"Daniel McFarlan Moore developed the Moore Tube which was the first commercial ancestor of the fluorescent lamp." Source: [http://illuminutti.com/tag/daniel-mcfarlan-moore/]

DANIEL MCFARLAN MOORE—East Orange, (510 Park Ave.)—Electrical Engineer and Inventor. Born at Northumberland, Pa., on February 27, 1869; son of the Rev. Alexander Davis and Maria Louisa (Douglas) Moore; married on June 5, 1895, to Mary Alice Elliott, of New York City.

Children : Dorothy Mae, born 1900; Elliott McFarlan, born 1902 ; Beatrice Jean, born 1912.

D. McFarlan Moore's earliest paternal ancestors settled on the eastern shore of Maryland, before the Revolutionary War. His grandfather was a "powder monkey" at the storming of Fort McHenry, where the Star Spangled Banner was written, and his great-grandfather was captain of one of the guns. Every male member of the family was enlisted in the army. "The powder monkey" became the editor of the old "National Intelligencer," o f Washington, D. C., and was closely associated with the early history of the United States. He was Grand Sire of the Odd Fellows. His son, the Rev. Alexander D. Moore, the inventor's father, was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, and ' an uncle, Col. William G. Moore, was the Private Secretary of President Andrew Johnson. Among his maternal ancestors were Sir Arthur Johns and the Earl of Gray. His great great grandfather was Col. Archibald Orme, a member of Gen. Washington's staff.

Mr. Moore was educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania, the Moravian Parochial School, Ulrich's Preparatory School and Lehigh University. He entered immediately into the employ of the United Edison Manufacturing Company, and for four years was in close touch with many of the largest early electric light installations on both laud and sea. He also had charge of the installation and trial cruise of the first war vessel to be steered by electricity. He told of his experiences in an article published in Frank Leslie's Magazine in 1893. In 1894 he organized the Moore Electrical Company and later the Moore Light Company, and was Vice President and General Manager of both companies for eighteen years, at the end of which time the Moore Light interests were absorbed by the General Electric Company.

Mr. Moore early developed an absorbing interest in inventions. His first patent was granted to him in 1893, and since that time more than 100 additional inventions have been patented in the United States as well as in most all other civilized countries. For over 25 years he has been continuously active in a variety of ways that have been interesting to the public. A large number of his technical articles have been published, and lie has presented to various scientific societies and colleges, many papers which have been translated into foreign languages. For many years he has been interested in the production of electric light by the flow of electricity through various gases, not through solid wires as is the case with the ordinary incandescent electric lamp.

Mr. Moore is widely known because of his having exhibited the Moore Light in its various stages of development at many electrical shows, and of his numerous scientific lectures in various parts of the country before such bodies as the Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences, National Electric Light Association, American Electro-Chemical Society, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, etc. Moore Light Companies were organized in France, Switzerland and Russia.

In 1893, Mr. Moore contributed to the transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, a paper on "A New Method for the Control of Electric Energy," and in 1894, "Cassier's Magazine," published his article entitled: "The Light of the Future," which was the first attempt to treat this subject in a concrete manner, and attracted wide attention. His paper in 1896, before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers on "Recent Developments in Vacuum Tube Lighting," excited much comment, so that a few months later, the "Moore Light" became the object of principal interest to thousands at New York's first Great Electrical Show at the Grand Central Palace. During the Electrical Show at Madison Square Garden in 1898, the "Moore Chapel," lighted with vacuum tubes aroused interest, as did somewhat similar exhibitions in Boston, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Later the long glass tubes of the Moore Light came into general commercial use.

Among the modified forms of the Moore Light exhibited at the Electrical Show in New York in 1b16, were, a unit provided with Neon gas, and another using carbon dioxide gas, the color of the light of which is exactly the same as that of the best quality of daylight and it is therefore used as the standard of color values throughout the world, and is particularly valuable to the great textile industry. In 1910, he was awarded by the City of Philadelphia, through the Franklin Institute, the John Scott medal and premium, and in 1912, Sir William Ramsay, the world's greatest chemist, presented Mr. Moore, in recognition of his work, with a very valuable bottle of Neon gas, the element which he has discovered.

Mr. Moore is a member of a score of organizations and is a public spirited citizen. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, member and past Chairman of the Illuminating Engineering Society, the New York Electrical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Society of the War of 1812 and is Vice President of Orange Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is a republican and a Presbyterian elder and is interested in all local movements from the schools, local option, the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, etc., to the Home Guard.

Mr. Moore's office is at the General Electric Company, Harrison, (N. J.).

From http://americanhistory.si.edu/lighting/bios/moore.htm:

Daniel McFarlan Moore is little remembered today. However, he invented one of the first commercially available discharge lamps as well as a small glow lamp that can still be found in almost every American home.

Moore began his lighting career working for Edison, but turned to experimenting with the idea of obtaining light from electrical discharges. While not a new idea -- Henrich Geissler made light emitting tubes in the 1850s -- Moore felt that glass sealing techniques had advanced enough since then to allow a commercial product. Edison was not keen on the idea of something which might compete with his incandescent lamp, and reputedly asked Moore, "What's wrong with my lamp?" Moore's quick response, quoted above, should leave little wonder why Moore soon started into business for himself.

By 1898 Moore had devised his "Moore Lamp." The lamp consisted of gas-filled glass tubes about 2 inches in diameter joined together in lengths up to 250 feet. Once installed, air was removed from the tube and a small amount of gas, usually nitrogen or carbon dioxide, inserted. An electric current passed between electrodes mounted in either end of the lamp, just as in later neon tubes inspired by Moore's work. Current and gas pressure were regulated by devices installed in a box from which both ends of the tube emerged.

The Moore lamp proved difficult to install, requiring the services of a "glass plumber" who custom fit 10 foot lengths of tubing to a customer's space. The tubes also leaked. But carbon dioxide gave a good quality white light at an efficacy of about 10 lumens per watt -- almost triple the efficacy of Edison's lamp. Moore lamps sold modestly well for commercial installations, until 1910 when William Coolidge's tungsten filament lamp also achieved 10 lpw. Moore's company failed and he went to work for General Electric.

Moore's lasting legacy was his 1920 invention of the glow lamp. These small, low power devices use a physical principle called "coronal discharge." Moore mounted two electrodes close together in a bulb and added neon or argon gas. The electrodes would glow brightly in red or blue, depending on the gas, and the lamps lasted for years. Since the electrodes could take almost any shape imaginable, a popular application has been fanciful decorative lamps. Glow lamps found practical use as indicators in instrument panels and in many home appliances until the acceptance of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in the 1970s. The next time you see a coffee urn with an orange, glowing light above the spigot, think of D. McFarlan Moore.

EMM was an admirer of the inventor Nikola Tesla of whom he once said: "You fanned into a never dying flame my latent interest in gaseous conduction. Early in 1894 I told our mutual friend that your book...which contains your original lectures, would still be considered a classic a hundred years hence. I have not changed my opinion."


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Daniel McFarlan Moore's Timeline

February 27, 1869
Northumberland, Pennsylvania, United States
December 21, 1900
Age 31
New York, New York
March 11, 1902
Age 33
New Jersey, United States
May 2, 1912
Age 43
East Orange, Essex, New Jersey, United States
June 15, 1936
Age 67
East Orange, Essex, New Jersey, United States