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Pharology - People

Gustav Dalen (1869-1937)

A designer and inventor for lighting equipment. Credited with the creation of the sun valve, an automatic system for acetylene gas lamps. Born in Sweden he was a brillian scholar and entered the Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg in 1892. He went to Zurich in 1896 and undertook postgraduate work for a year at the prestigious Polytechnikum. Returning to Gothenburg he worked for two companies, in the mornings at Laval's making hot air turbine machinery and in the afternoon selling acetylene gas generators. He also worked on his own inventions. His automatic AGA acetylene gas system was first adopted at Kostellholmen Island in 1906. In 1912 he won the Nobel Prize for Physics. However, before he could receive the award, he was blinded in a gas explosion. However, he continued with his work, inventing and directing his own company until his death.