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The History of the Lightbulb

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Ethan Bonsall

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of The History of the Lightbulb

The History of the Light Bulb
Invention History
Most people would think that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, all by himself. That's what we're taught in school, but in fact, there is no single inventor that worked on the light bulb. It was a series of inventors that tweaked a model over a series of decades. The first light bulb was created in 1800 by Humphry Davy, an English scientist. Davy was experimenting with electricity and invented an electric battery, he discovered that when he connected wires and a piece of carbon to his battery, the carbon glowed. Up until Edison came around, scientists were experimenting with the filaments and the bulb's atmosphere. Before Thomas Edison and his team, the light bulbs were a lot of money and didn't last very long, but they had intentions of changing that. Due to these contributions to form the light bulb into its modern characteristics, Edison was mainly credited for the light bulb. Although Thomas Edison never originated the light bulb, he did continue to improve the light bulb. In fact, ever since the arc lamp's creation in the early 1800s, scientists have constantly been improving upon it.
Evolution of the Light Bulb
The first lightbulb was named the arc lamp and was created in the early 19th century by Humphrey Davy. He used a battery to make the current flow between two charcoal strips.
In 1820, Warren De la Rue made the first known attempt at creating an incandescent light bulb.
Throughout the 1800s there was a competition between scientists to create a long-lasting and high temperature filament light bulb, Thomas Edison and his team were able to do just that.
About 100 years after Humphrey Davy's breakthrough, the General Electric Company and William Coolidge improved upon all the plans before them and improved the light bulbs overall performance.
Although the modern incandescent bulb is energy inefficient, it is still widely popular because of its various advantages.
The CFL is a modified version of the incandescent bulb, with less energy usage, less heat, longer existence, but the same amount of light.
Currently, the incandescent light bulb is much more efficient than it was over 100 years ago because it has a better filament that will last much longer, it takes up less power, and the interior atmosphere of the bulb is a better vacuum. The bulbs used too much energy and threw money down the drain, and were just inefficient.
The CFL bulbs use less energy, they're cheaper over time, and they last 15 times longer than the incandescent bulb.
Ultimately, these bulbs will help the environment by using less energy. Scientist claim using these bulbs would prevent 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Factors Throughout History
No one, no matter how rich they were, would want to continuously pay each day for an expensive light bulb that will burn out in a few hours. Not to mention that it takes up a bunch of power. The tweaks throughout this version of the light bulb are self-evident to everybody that the light bulbs are just the beginning of something new. That is why today, light bulbs are cheaper, more efficient, and they simply have a better construction. Like all good inventions, the beginning is the foundation of the history, next comes all of the little ideas that are built off of it.
Efforts for Reducing Carbon
National Geographic states that

"Humans are using 50% more resources than the Earth can replenish in a year. So, we use the equivalent of 1.5 planets per year, and by 2030, we'll use 2 planets per year."

Relevance of the Light Bulb
Advantages/Disadvantages of the Light Bulb
Future of the
Light Bulb
Global Implications
Thomas Edison and his team of scientists invented the light bulb on December 31, 1879 at Menlo Park, NJ
Thomas Edison had to experiment over 1,000 times to get the best filament and light bulb atmosphere he possibly could for the public. With only a few changes after Edison's 1879 bulb, the light bulb is what we modernly use.
The light bulb is extremely important to our current civilizations. We use it in our vehicles, at night, in our homes, businesses, television, restaurants, advertisements, luxuries and much more. Almost everything we know of today has something to do with this electric miracle. Many technological break throughs might not have been formed if it weren't for the "team" of scientists that formed the modern light bulb over the decades.

Gives us light and a bit of heat
Advanced technology
By changing from a standard bulb to a CFL, you can prevent greenhouse gas emission
Cuts down crime
Less of a fire hazard
Allows for better worldwide communication
Hospitals, police, and firemen can work continually
Overall, takes a majority of the world's energy
Changes family dynamic and communication by having night shifts
Sleep is not on a natural pattern with the sun
Reduces melatonin
I believe the future of the light bulb will only contain improvements. Currently the CFL contains mercury which can be dangerous. Even though it's only in small amounts, I know that scientists will soon improve this. Also, to purchase 6 CFLs, the cost is now $75! Before, an incandescent light bulb, would cost $7 for 6 bulbs. I think everyone is hoping the cost of these bulbs can be improved upon and they will become cheaper.
If the light bulb was never invented, we wouldn't know life as it is today.
dependent on sunlight
cars, buses, subways and trains could not operate at night
work hours would revolve around daylight hours
more fires due to oil lamps and candles
crime would increase
we would probably have less communication globally
more deaths from accidents and lack of emergency help at night
people may be more physically fit from walking or riding bikes

Uses a lot of energy
The light bulb has changed our work environment. Hospitals, fire stations, police stations and other businesses can work past sun down. We do not depend on sunlight.
This has allowed workers to work at night, workers to stay in touch with other businesses across the country in different time zones and even across the globe.
Governments around the world are phasing out the incandescent bulbs. Our standard screw in light bulb is not energy efficient. Scientists claim that if every household in America switched at least one bulb from this incandescent bulb to the CFL, it will be equivalent to taking 7.5 million cars off the road.
I Pledge to...
Use a bike or walk places
Combine everything you need to into one car trip
Use CFL to save energy
Stop junk mail which produces more carbon than 9 million cars
Unplug electronics that aren't in use
Thinking before printing
Recycle phones, laptops, tablets, iPods, etc.
Buy locally grown food to keep from transporting foods.
Full transcript