Soren Madsen – Inventor of the SM-lamp

In the period from 1966 to 1984 Danlamp was managed by one of the great pioneers of the lighting industry, Soren Madsen. Soren Madsen advanced the development of the incandescent lamp in both quality and design and is now acknowledged as one of the masters of light.

For a long period Soren Madsen was the main supplier for the Danish state and all employees in the state could bathe in the light of the SM-lamp.

Master of light

Soren Madsen was a skilled electro-technician and founded a factory for production of light bulbs at the age of 33. This was in year of crisis 1929 – the year of the Great Stock Market Crash that sent its chock waves all the way to Denmark. But this hurdle could not kill the flame in the indomitable Soren Madsen.

Madsen invested in a variety of machines, amongst others a vacuum pump from a closed radio tube-factory. He had a daily production of 400 lamps – all branded SM. Madsen experienced harsh competition from Phillips and other international manufacturers and also faced great difficulties obtaining raw material. At several occasions Madsen himself had to go to Russia to buy wolfram wire and to the US to buy argon.

Light over water

In 1962 Soren Madsen started a close partnership with Phillips and built a new light bulb factory that grew to 120 employees. The factory experienced strong growth and produced the main part of the lamps that lit up the Danish households. The factory supplied lamps for the shipping industry and Madsen’s inventor skills created market advantages here, too. As the ships got bigger the international standards of shipping lamps changed. Madsen was the first to design a new type of ship lantern that lit up twice as powerful as earlier lamps – but could still be used in the existing lens systems.

For production of these and other lamps for professional use he bought Dansk Glødelampefabrik A/S in 1966 – later renamed Danlamp. When he died December 25 1985 his son Ole Madsen took over the factory in Aabenraa.

Soren Madsen was honorary member of Lysteknisk Selskab (Society of Light Technology) and President of Selskabet for Danmarks Tekniske Museum (Society of The Technical Museum of Denmark).