THAYER, RICHARD N. (5 June 1907-27 March 1992), leading engineer in the development of fluorescent lighting, was born in Pittsburgh the son of Horace and Abbie Lincoln Thayer. He attended high school in Scranton, Pa. and graduated from the University of PIttsburgh in 1928. After graduation, he came to Cleveland to work for General Electric Lamp Division at NELA PARK. Thayer participated in the research and development of a tubular electric lamp with a synthetic fluroscent coating on its inner surface. The lamp depended on mercury vapor to generate ultraviolet energy which was converted into white or colored light by the fluorescent coating. An experimental lamp was first shown to the public in 1935, and commercial fluorescent lighting was Introduced in 1938. The long-lasting, low voltage lamp adapted easily to existing electrical wiring and was widely used in factories, offices, stores, public buildings, and homes. Thayer held seven patents on the lamps as further improvements continued to be made, and he was the author of several articles on their development. He retired as manager of fluorescent engineering in 1969.
Thayer married Leona Falce 14 Feb. 1931, and they had 3 daughters, June Murany, Marilyn Warber, and Nancy Preston. A resident of MAYFIELD HTS., he was buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.