John Henry Holmes

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Henry Holmes was born in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne back in 1857.  I could not find anything about his childhood or schooling.  In 1880, he attended a public demonstration involving an incandescent light bulb by Joseph Swan.  He tried several times to become his apprentice, but those requests proved uneventful.

In 1883, he and his brother Theodore founded J.H. Holmes & Company, specializing in dynamos, switches and lighting.  In 1884, he invented something that basically hasn’t changed since it hit the market and is still being used by everyone in the world who has electricity.

He died in 1935, a very wealthy man.  Now, you may be asking yourself what did he invent?  Well here is the rest of the story, he invented the quick break sight switch, but we know it as simply the wall mounted light switch.

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Comments (15)

Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH
GRI

Persistance plus prespiration wins the day.  Too bad Mr. Swan didn't recognize talent.

Aug 26, 2020 01:57 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. John was a very smart guy who took advantage of the ups and down. Enjoy your day!

Aug 26, 2020 04:58 AM
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

He sure made his mark on history or you would not be writing about it.

Aug 26, 2020 04:58 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

An early child toy to try the patience of Parents!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Aug 26, 2020 04:59 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

The principals of the light switch have not changed over the last 150 years but they sure have changed with added functions and shapes. Thanks for the enlightening post James Dray .

Aug 26, 2020 06:29 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

James,

Those simple essential things for everyday living make a big difference! Happy Wednesday. A

Aug 26, 2020 06:44 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - thank you for this story of Mr. Holmes and his device that has been used countless times in my lifetime.  

Aug 26, 2020 06:58 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Hey James, I guess just a few of those have been sold over the years.

Aug 26, 2020 11:06 AM
James Dray

Just a few

Aug 27, 2020 01:25 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thanks to you James Dray - His legacy is kept alive.  We all turn on and off light switches but john's name never comes up.  

Aug 26, 2020 12:13 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this interesting story.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding week.

Aug 26, 2020 02:02 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon James Dray - seems so simple but simple things always have to be invented.

Aug 26, 2020 03:32 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- very interesting!!! And his invention is something that we all use every day. 

Aug 26, 2020 07:26 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

How interesting I was thinking of another John Holmes:)) wonder if you know who I had in mind?:)Endre

Aug 26, 2020 11:35 PM
James Dray

You know I did, I was going to write about him, but thought better of it...... LOL

Aug 27, 2020 01:25 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ha ha Endre Barath, Jr. 

Well where would we be without the light switch?

Aug 27, 2020 08:35 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

It is amazing that such a simple invention, now universally used, can create generational wealth.

Sep 12, 2020 08:50 AM

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