Agapito Flores made a fluorescent lamp but he is not credited for inventing this technology.
Flores reportedly presented a glass tube that gives off white light to President Manuel L. Quezon. The president was surprised at Flores’ invention. However, the General Electric (GE) company of Great Britain was already selling fluorescent lamps at that time.
Many authors of elementary books in the Philippines claim that Flores invented the fluorescent lamp and that it was named after him, a letter ‘u’ was just added. Again, this is not true. Fluorescence is a phenomenon where a substance absorbs light and release it afterwards.
Agapito Flores was born on September 28, 1897 while Peter C. Hewitt had already made a patent for the fluorescent lamp in 1901. Flores was 4 years old at that time!
Although Hewitt’s Fluorescent lamp gave of a greenish light, it still operated according to the principle of Fluorescence.
The General Electric company went on to improve Hewitt’s lamp and in 1927, they mass produced a fluorescent lamp that emits white light.
Agapito Flores was already 30 years old at that time. If GE acquired Flores’ invention of a white fluorescent lamp, we will never know. That issue will only be in the minds of the conspiracy guys and skeptics.
An invention should be patented in order for you to claim your ownership of it. May it be a simple scotch tape or a very complex machine, a patent is your evidence that you made it first and others are prohibited from making or selling it.
Agapito Flores might not have been credited as the inventor of the Fluorescent lamp but we know that he went through a lot of hardships just to create a fluorescent lamp all by himself and present it to the president of the Philippines.