Sure, sliced bread was a wonderful innovation but, more than 150 years after it was invented, it is the image of a lightbulb that still stands as a symbol of a great new idea. It is hard to overstate the impact that electric light had on society. It is not an exaggeration to say that the incandescent lightbulb not only revolutionized interior lighting in homes and businesses across America, it revolutionized society.
The lightbulb – something that most of us take for granted – changed the way we work; the way we cook and heat our homes; the way we design buildings; the way we are entertained and so much more. It changed the way we live!
The Early History of the Lightbulb
Edison was a giant in the field of electric light, but he wasn’t the only one working to bring a lightbulb to market. “Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and other inventors began introducing practical electric power systems in the 1880s,” The Smithsonian National Museum of American History points out.
Expanding on that idea, the Department of Energy says, “Like all great inventions, the light bulb can’t be credited to one inventor It was a series of small improvements on the ideas of previous inventors that have led to the light bulbs we use in our homes today.”
The experts at Department of Energy go on to say, “Long before Thomas Edison patented — first in 1879 and then a year later in 1880 — and began commercializing his incandescent light bulb, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp. In 1835, the first constant electric light was demonstrated, and for the next 40 years, scientists around the world worked on the incandescent lamp, tinkering with the filament (the part of the bulb that produces light when heated by an electrical current) and the bulb’s atmosphere (whether air is vacuumed out of the bulb or it is filled with an inert gas to prevent the filament from oxidizing and burning out). These early bulbs had extremely short lifespans, were too expensive to produce or used too much energy.”
He was one of the greatest inventors this country has ever seen, but not even Thomas Edison could have foreseen the way his simple incandescent lightbulb would someday evolve into the kind of contemporary chandeliers, decorative lighting and designer exterior lighting that we are known for here at Sculpta Lights. You could say this particular history lesson is electrifying!