Updated 10-I-2018

John Chamberlain Fish

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.

John Fish (1864-1909) was a very influential person in the electrical industry, as well as in Shelby, Ohio. He was born in Sheldon, Vermont in 1864 and educated in the public schools of Akron and Shelby OH, as well as in a private school in Gamber OH.

In 1896 he organized The Shelby Electric Company, and hired Professor Adolphe Chaillet as his technical manager. Thanks to the innovative lamp designs of Chaillet, the Shelby Electric company quickly rose to a powerful position, which it maintained after having been absorbed into the National Electric Lamp Association. In recognition of the strength of his company, John Fish also became the first president of NELA.

  1. "John Chamberlain Fish", in The Electric Incandescent Lamp 1880-1925, E.J. Covington, GE Lighting NELA Press, Cleveland OH, 1998, p.136.