History of Light Bulbs: Light is an inevitable resource that we need in our life. Sunlight is not available for us throughout the day. And, even when it is available, we may require light inside our rooms where sunlight is unable to reach. This makes electric bulbs much important in our life.
People say that electric light was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879. This is wrong because electric light was used even before 1879. In fact, it was Humphry Davy who invented electric light. Humphry Davy experimented with electricity and developed an electric battery in 1802. When he connected a piece of battery using wires to this battery, the carbon glowed. This is the first electric light and Davy’s invention is known as the Electric Arc Lamp. However, the light produced by the electric arc lamp was not sufficient for practical use.
As a continuation to Davy’s experiment in 1840 Warren de la Rue, a British Scientist, came up with coiled platinum filament in a vacuum tube. Though the design was efficient the cost of platinum made it impossible for commercial production. Later in 1850s another English scientist (Joseph Wilson Swan) developed a light bulb using carbonized paper filaments. These bulbs required vacuum and the lack of vacuum and inadequate supply of electricity resulted in short-living bulbs. Though in 1878 Swan could produce longer lasting bulbs, Thomas Edison developed carbonized bamboo filament bulbs which lasted for 1200 hours. So we can say that Thomas Edison was the one who developed the first long-lasting practical electric light bulb.
Today we have different types of electric bulbs for different purposes. Thanks to those who contributed to the invention of electric light bulbs and their improvisation.
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