Invention of the Light Bulb
Posted on August 27, 2009 by Jamie Slaughter, with 32767 views
The very first electric light was invented as early as 1800 by English inventor, Humphry Davy. Through various experimentations with electricity, he invented a basic electric battery, soon followed by electric light once he realised that carbon glowed, producing light when connected to the battery. This reaction is called an electric arc.
In 1860, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan set about attempting to develop a practical, long-lasting form of electric light. It was he who realised that carbon paper filament worked well, however did burn up relatively quickly. In 1878, his new lamp inventions were showcased in Newcastle, England.
1877 saw American Charles Francis Brush develop a series of carbon arcs in order to illuminate a public square in Ohio, USA. A few streets, some large office buildings and some stores all utilised electric lights, but the extent of usage was not at all common.
Typically credited as the 'inventor of the light bulb', Thomas Alva Edison experimented with thousands upon thousands of alternative filaments to find the best material for a long-lasting, high glow solution. 1879 was the year Edison finally realised that a carbon filament within an oxygen-free bulb glowed, but would not burn up for approximately 40 hours. Later, Edison invented a bulb that would not expire for over 1500 hours.
Lewis Howard Latimer improved upon Edison's bulb with a new carbon filament which he patented in 1881. Latimer was part of Edison's research team, termed "Edison's Pioneers", and in 1882 began to manufacture and distribute his own carbon filaments.
At the turn of the century, in 1903, Willis R. Whitney introduced a 'fix' to the light bulb, so that the inside of the bulb would not darken as the filament began to glow, thus producing more vivid and bright light. William David Coolidge then invented a tungsten version of the traditional filament, which lasted longer than any other filament. This incandescent light bulb revolutionised the way in which we live today.