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Transcript of THE LIGHTBULB
THE INVENTION OF THE LIGHTBULB
Hiram Stevens Maxim
Edison: Part 2
How it Changed the World
You might think the light bulb changed the world by allowing people to work at night or in dark places, but we already gas lamps and other light sources at the time. It was actually the infrastructure that was built to provide electricity to every home and business that changed the world. Today, our world is filled with powered devices than we can plug in pretty much anywhere. We have the light bulb to thank for it.
Say what you will about Thomas Edison's tactics or methods, it is hard to deny that he was a master businessman who knew how to find loop-holes. The reason he is known as the founder of electric lighting is because he had the skill to he carry the idea from laboratory to commercialization, taking into consideration not only technical problems, but also issues like economics and the production of bulbs.
Maxim developed and installed the first electric lights in a New York City building (the Equitable Life Building) in the late 1870s. However, he was involved in several lengthy patent disputes with Edison proved Maxim's claim to be false, knowing that patent law would mean the invention would become public property That would allow Edison to manufacture the lightbulb without crediting Maxim as the true inventor.
In America, Edison had been working on copies of the original light bulb patented by Swan, trying to make them more efficient. Though Swan had beaten him to this goal, Edison obtained patents in America for a fairly direct copy of the Swan light, and started an advertising campaign that claimed that he was the real inventor. Swan, who was less interested in making money from the invention, agreed that Edison could sell the lights in America while he retained the rights in Britain.
There were quite a few pioneers of the lightbulb, but two of the most famous were Joseph Swan and Hiram Stevens Maxim
Edison: Part 1
Edison's major innovation was the first industrial research lab, which was built in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was built with the funds from the sale of Edison's quadruplex telegraph, his first great financial success. Menlo Park became the first institution set up with the specific purpose of producing constant technological innovation and improvement.
At the time people used gas, oil, or wick to light homes, businesses, and streets. It caused fires, harmed adults and children, and could be expensive to maintain. Even though the lightbulb negated most of those issues, Edison faced the monumental task of getting electricity to places.
Edison's form of transmitting electricity was known as Direct Current (DC). It was limited by having to place generators every 1.5 miles, being susceptible to dangerous power surges, and running on expensive wire. His competition was Alternating Current (AC), led by George Westinghouse. It would only have to place generators every few hundred miles, ran on cheaper wire, and could prevent power surges.
Edison began a massive smear campaign to keep his customers from using AC. He created the electric chair using Alternating Current just to prove that AC was dangerous, and even went to far as electrocuting stray animals. Edison also claimed that AC was the cause of illnesses such as tumors, tuberculosis, polio, and much more.
Edison patented a system for electricity distribution in 1880. December 17, 1880, Edison founded the Edison Illuminating Company, which established the first investor-owned electric utility on Pearl Street Station, New York City and the first steam-generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London. On January 19, 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires began service in Roselle, New Jersey.
By November 4, 1879, he filed for U.S. patent 223,898 (granted on January 27, 1880) for an electric lamp. Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament, it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered a carbonized bamboo filament that could last over 1,200 hours.
EARLY INVENTORS AND EDSION