Thomas Edison Invented the Light Bulb
Thomas Edison did not invent the electric bulb– despite popular belief. In fact, many of us were wrong on this point because we have been led to believe that Thomas Edison was the man behind the light bulb’s design. However, he only made it more practical and valuable by perfecting an already almost forty-year-old design. Here’s how he did it:
English chemist Humphrey Davy discovered that electricity could create light when he observed that wires and conductors heated up and emitted light when electric current flowed through them. This discovery was the basis for “experimental” bulbs created by British chemists Warren de La Rue (1838) and Joseph Swan (1878). Thomas Edison is known for his work with early light bulbs. However, the first few designs were either flawed or impractical. They would burn out quickly or be very costly to produce on a large scale. What Thomas Edison did was find a way to solve the challenges that were holding back the development of the light bulb. He combined a thin carbon filament design with a better vacuum, creating the first long-lasting light bulb in 1879.