Werner von Bolton (1868 – 1912) was a renowned German chemist and materials scientist best known as the inventor of the tantalum lamp.
Werner von Bolton was born on 8 April 1868 in Tbilisi, Georgia. He studied chemistry at the Technische Hochschule Berlin and in Leipzig. While studying, he interned at Siemens & Halske in Berlin.
He achieved his doctorate in 1985.
In 1896 he joined Siemens & Halske as head of a laboratory in the company's incandescent lamp factory.
In 1902 von Bolton detected the benefits of using Tantalum as a material in the production of filaments. Tantalum allowed for a greater luminosity with lower energy consumption when compared with previous alternatives such as coal.
In 1905, Siemens & Halske awarded von Bolton the position of director of the first central laboratory of the company, later the Physics and Chemistry laboratory.
After 1910, the bulbs with a tantalum filament were replaced by those with a tungsten filament.
Bolton also made an attempt to substitute aluminum for the platinum wires used as lead-in wires. Bolton exhibited lamps with the wire substitution at a German Electro-Chemical Society meeting in Berlin.
Death and Legacy
Von Bolton passed away on 28 October 1912 in Berlin. He is honored with the Boltonstraße, a street named after him in Siemensstadt, an area of Berlin's Spandau district.