First Publication Date: 26th November 2010.
Mankind moved from dark ages to the ages of candles, oil lanterns and gas lamps. But all these sources of light were a hazard to the user and property and were all dangerous in their own ways. The quest towards creating a better source of light brought about the advancement of the human race towards creating an electrified world. It was as early as 1809 when the foundation of the concept of the light bulb was formulated and the light bulb was invented. The light bulb has profoundly changed the human lifestyle by illuminating the darkness.
The electric light bulb is a source of light which generates light when a filament of wound metal wire is heated to a high temperature to cause incandescence. The filament is enclosed in a glass envelope which is filled with inert gas.
Every schoolchild knows that the scientific genius and inventor, Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb in 1879. Edison has nearly1300 inventions and patents to his merit. Though the credit to make electric bulbs commercially viable goes to him, many believe that he did not invent the bulb and bought patents from those who did.
Edison was neither the first nor the only person who tried to invent an incandescent electric lamp. Many inventors had tried and failed in the process. Among those inventors who made the contribution in a step forward to understand the light bulbs were Sir Humphrey Davy, Warren De la Rue, James Bowman Lindsay, James Prescott Joule, Frederick de Moleyns and Heinrich Göbel.General Electric and Westinghouse had monopoly in light bulbs between the years 1878 and 1892. The two companies formed the Board of Patent Control, a joint arrangement to defend the patents of the two companies in litigation. This proved to be a wise decision as over 600 lawsuits for patent infringement were filed against them.
On a quick search using the key words (electric and bulb or candle or light), you will find that so far 182,003 applications have been filed regarding the electric bulb but only 156,638 patents have been granted.
1. The Invention of the Light Bulb: Davy, Swan and Edison.
2. The History of the Light Bulb – An Electric Dawn
3. The history of the light bulb.
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You say, “Every schoolchild knows that the scientific genius and inventor, Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb in 1879.”
However, that is not what I was taught in school. I was taught that Joseph Swan invented the first modern electric light bulb (vacuum-based). Genius though he certainly was, Eddison was a year later.
Perhaps that’s what all US schoolchildren think they know.
Consider that your audience on this international publication called the Internet will not merely be your fellow citizens of your country. Your audience will be the world.
@Dal: It is not mentioned that Thomas Edison was first to invent the electric blub. Infact, if you carefully read entire article, you will come to know that credit of inventing electric bulb to Thomas is disputed.
But I apologize for not mentioning Sir Joseph Wilson Swan’s name in the article.