Society

Who Invented the Light Bulb?

The inventors of the light bulb are credited to Thomas Edison, Joseph Swan, and Hiram Maxim.

The Light Bulb

Many inventors and scientists are thought to have taken part in the invention of the first electric bulb. However, the invention of the electric bulb is mostly linked to Thomas Alva Edison. He was an innovator and a businessman of American origin.The invention of the light bulb was complemented by Joseph Swan and Hiram Maxim. Swan invented an impractical lamp by using the arc lamp element. Hiram Maxim, on the other hand, invented and installed the first electric lights.

Thomas Edison’s Early Life

Thomas Edison was born in 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He spent most of his childhood with his family in Port Huron, Michigan. His father, Samuel Edison was a Canadian political activist. On the other hand, his mother who was named Nancy Mathews Elliot was a school teacher. During his early life he was infected with scarlet fever which led to a hearing impairment condition. Edison was home-schooled by his mother who was furious at his teacher who called him an “addled” student. He gained knowledge from reading books like “School of Natural Resources” and “Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.” He had an uncontrollable quest for knowledge which led to his discipline of independent learning.

His Career

In 1854, Edison’s family moved to Port Huron where Edison convinced his parents to allow him to sell newspapers. As time went by, he started typing and printing his own newspaper known as the Grand Herald. He further showcased his entrepreneurial skills by selling candy and vegetables. He was taught how to operate a telegraph by a father whose child he rescued from being hit by a train. Subsequently, between 1863 and 1867, he worked as a telegraph operator in various US cities.

Edison started his invention career at the age off 22 when he created an improved stock ticker. Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877 gave him great recognition. The following year, he commenced working on an electrical lighting system that competed with gas and oil based lighting. He devised a long-lasting incandescent lamp which he hoped would be used indoors. Graham made improvements on the bulb and patented it on December 1879. He then founded his own electric company in New York by partnering with other investors like J.P.Morgan. Later on, Edison founded the Edison Illuminating Company and patented a system for electric distribution.

Major Contributions

Edison was a great inventor who had over 1,000 United States patents under his name. However, the major contribution by which he received international accolades was the invention of the incandescent electric light bulb. Furthermore, he came up with a system to transmit electric power to different areas like factories and houses. Edison developed the first power station in Manhattan, New York City. The electric bulb invention was an important development in the modern industrialized world. Edison’s other inventions include the telegraph and phonograph. He also invented the motion picture camera that was used to record moving objects and people.

Death and Legacy

Thomas Edison died on October 18, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey. His body suffered from diabetes complications which made him extremely weak prior to his death. Edison set the stage for America and the world’s present day electric world.

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