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Thomas Edison - Electric Light Bulb

February 14, 2012 4689 No of hits
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Thomas Edison - Electric Light Bulb

Thomas Edison was known as an observant man, whose observations were used to solve problems. His first laboratory was in the basement of his family home. His mother encouraged his curiosity and helped him learn, by purchasing scientific books for him to read as well as materials for his various experiments. In 1876, Edison completed construction of a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. In the late 1870s, when he invented the electric light bulb, he had already successfully invented and patented the phonograph. During this time, the concept of electric lighting was not new. Electric lighting had been used in various forms for approximately fifty years and several people had developed various ways to use it. But no one had come up with a way to electrically light people's homes. Edison set out to solve this problem.

He worked for two years to come up with an incandescent light bulb and an electrical lighting system in which to use the bulb. The first light bulbs Edison experimented with used sewing thread for the filament. These bulbs did produce light, but the only burned for thirteen to fourteen hours, before burning out. An incandescent light bulb produces lights by using electricity to heat the filament, which is a thin strip of material, inside the bulb, until the filament is hot enough to glow. Edison used bulbs that he had made himself in his glass blowing shed. He tried more than three thousand times to make an incandescent bulb that would burn for an extended period of time and produce the right amount of light for use in homes. Edison experimented with various types of carbon fibers from all sorts of plants, including bamboo. He wrote to biologists in various parts of the world and asked them to send him fibers from plants grown in their area.

Finally in 1879, Edison devised a filament made of carbonized materials that would burn for many hours before burning out. He applied for and obtained Patent 223,898 for Edison's electric lamp. An electric lamp at this time was a light bulb inserted into a fixture that supplied electricity to the bulb. Next Edison devised a power generation station and distribution system that was made of voltage regulators and copper wires. Using this system, which he completed in 1882, electricity could be run from the power station to homes and businesses, enabling them to make use of the light bulb.

Thomas Alva Edison is credited with inventing over one thousand items in his lifetime. He is known as the most prolific inventor of all time.

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Thomas Edison was known as an observant man, whose observations were used to solve problems. His first laboratory was in the basement of his family home. His mother encouraged his curiosity and helped him learn, by purchasing scientific books for him to read as well as materials for his various...

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