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LUCKIESH, MATTHEW

LUCKIESH, MATTHEW (14 Sept. 1883-2 Nov. 1967), renowned authority in the study of light and color application, was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, the son of John and Frances Root Luckiesh. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1909, an EE degree from Iowa State College in 1911, and an M.S. in 1912 from the State University of Iowa. He began work for the General Electric Lamp Division at NELA PARK in 1910, becoming director of applied science in 1919 and director of the Research Laboratory in 1924, a position he held until his retirement in 1949. He was a pioneer in the study of the visible spectrum of light, developing the first accurate glass filters for the production of artificial daylight and meters for measuring it. His work demonstrated the need for higher levels of illumination and the benefits of using indirect lighting with separate specific lighting for a seeing task. He held numerous patents, including a no-glare device for vehicle headlights and an apparatus for measuring visual efficiency. He also made important contributions in the fields of camouflage and airplane visibility during both world wars.

Luckiesh married Frances Clark in Maquoketa in 1913. After her death in 1925, he married Helen C. Pitts in Cleveland in 1928 and they had two daughters, Nancy L. Tobin and Peggy Kundtz. A resident of SHAKER HTS., he died at his home and was buried at CALVARY CEMETERY.


Luckiesh, Matthew. Torch of Civilization: The Story of Man's Conquest of Darkness (1940).

Covington, Edward J. A Man from Maquoketa: A Biography of Matthew Luckiesh (1992).