Updated 18-XI-2018

Waldo Calvin Bryant

This article was written by fellow lamp engineer and collector Edward J. Covington, and originally appeared on his own website of biographical sketches of persons involved in the lamp industry. Following his passing in February 2017, and with kind permission of his family, Ed's words have been preserved here in the hope of maintaining access to his writings for the benefit of subsequent generations.

Waldo Calvin Bryant

The growth and success of the incandescent lamp business depended not only on those who manufactured the lamps but also firms that manufactured auxiliary parts, such as fuses, wire, switches and sockets, for example. One such firm was the Bryant Electric Company, which produced sockets, among other parts. The head of that firm was Waldo Calvin Bryant (1863 - 1930).

A biographical sketch of W. C. Bryant appeared in The Story of Electricity, Vol 1. The sketch presented below was extracted from that source.

Waldo Calvin Bryant (17 Dec 1863 - 5 Jul 1930) was a native of Winchendon, Massachusetts. At age fourteen he began to learn the machinist's trade during school vacations. After he finished grammar school at age sixteen, Bryant entered Cushing Academy and subsequently completed that course of study. Bryant graduated from Worchester Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1884; he was then twenty years of age.

Bryant's work career began in the Thomson-Houston Electric Company after graduation. In a short space of time he worked in two different electric light plants. By October of 1888 he had invented a Push and Pull Switch. Bryant then traveled to Bridgeport, Connecticut to start a business of making electric light supplies; the business was called The Bryant Electric Company.

Bryant specialized in the manufacture of sockets, switches and wiring devices used in incandescent lighting. These were for applications in the United States as well as abroad. One of the largest plants was in Bridgeport with 340,000 feet of floor space. Offices were in Chicago, San Francisco and New York City.

In addition to being president, treasurer, general manager and director of The Bryant Electric Company, Waldo Bryant held the very same positions in The Perkins Electric Switch Manufacturing Company.

  1. US 391,943 - Electric Switch or Cut-Out (issued 30 Oct 1888)
  2. US 435,578 - Switch for Incandescent-Lamp Sockets (issued 2 Sep 1890)
  3. US 457,072 - Incandescent-Lamp Sockets (issued 4 Aug 1891)
  4. US 502,655 - Socket for Incandescent Electric Lamp (issued 1 Aug 1893)
  5. US 509,297 - Socket for Electric Lamp (issued 21 Nov 1893)
  6. US 574,301 - Electric-Lamp Base (issued 29 Dec 1896)
  7. US 582,036 - Electrical Fuse Cut-Out (issued 4 May 1897)
  8. US 626,588 - Weatherproof Socket for Incandescent Electric Lamp (issued 6 Jun 1899)
  9. US 651,695 - Contact for Incandescent Lamp Bases, &c. (issued 12 Jun 1900)
  10. US D31147 - Design for an Electric Contact-Button (issued 4 Jul 1889)

References & Bibliography
  1. "The Story of Electricity Vol.1", T. Commerford Martin & Stephen Leidy Coles, The Story of Electricity Company, New York, 1919, p.541.
  2. "Waldo Calvin Bryant in Who Was Who in America Vol.1", Marquis Publications Building, Chicago, 1966, p.159.