When Was The First Light Bulb Invented?


58 Answers

Lily James Profile
Lily James answered

Light Bulb is perhaps one of the most important inventions of the last century. Light Bulb was invented in the year 1879 by Thomas Elva Edison. Before Thomas, there were several other people working on this idea.

Before Light bulbs were invented, Gas lighting was a popular mode of lighting. He formed a company named Edison electric light company. This company flourished and then several people in the market brought in imitations of this product.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It was invented by Joseph swan an English inventor 50 years before Edison did, Edison wasn't even born.
sophia perry Profile
sophia perry answered

I think the first ever light bulb was invented in 1879.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It was invented in 1879 by Thomas Alva Edison at the research laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Thomas set up the laboratory....
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
The light bulb was invented by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans but they didn't have the money to make and sell it so they sold it to Thomas Edison.
khaled gomma
khaled gomma commented
No he was micheal jordan that invented it
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It was eridgnly invented by Joseph swan from britian in 1869 10 years before thomas edason from america/u.s.a.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The story of the lightbulb really starts almost seventy years earlier. In 1806 Humphrey Davy, an Englishman, demonstrated a powerful electric lamp to the Royal Society. Davy's lamp produced its illumination by creating a blinding electric spark between two charcoal rods. This device, known as an "arc lamp," was impractical for most uses. The light, similar to that of a welding torch, was simply too bright to be used in residences and most businesses. The device also needed a tremendous source of power and the batteries which powered Davy's demonstration model were quickly drained.

It was obvious, though, that incandescent lighting would be a huge financial success if it could be perfected, so many inventors continued to work on finding a solution. It was into this environment that the brash, young, inventor Thomas Alva Edison entered the race to make-a-better-bulb in 1878. Edison was already world famous for having created and commercialized several items, including a better stock market ticker and the phonograph. In October of that year, after working on the project for only a few months, he declared to the newspapers "I have just solved the problem of the subdivision of the electric light." This rash pronouncement was enough to drive the stocks of the gas companies (whose lamps supplied the current form of lighting) down into the ground.

As it turned out, Edison's announcement was premature. He had an idea of how to solve the problems of the electric incandescent light, but had not yey perfected it. His idea was to enclose a platinum burner in a vacuum. When other inventors had done this the platinum melted, but Edison thought he had solved that problem by building a temperature-sensitive switch into the bulb that would cut off the current when the temperature got too high. This was a great idea, but unfortunately it didn't work. To keep the bulbs cool enough, the switches had to cut the current off very quickly. This resulted in a constant flickering which made the bulbs unusable (this same switching principle is currently used in Christmas tree bulbs to make them blink on and off).

It was soon obvious to everyone working on the incandescent light at Edison's Menlo Park laboratory that another approach was needed. Edison decided to hire a young physicist named Francis Upton from Princeton University to work on the project. Up to this point Edison's staff had been trying idea after idea to get the bulb to work. Under Upton's guidance, they started looking at existing patents and research to try and avoid repeating other people's mistakes. The staff also started doing basic research on the properties of the materials they had been working with.

One of the results of testing the properties of the materials was the realization that any burner chosen would have to have a high electrical resistance. All materials have an amount of electrical "friction" that resists electricity moving through it. This is known as the material's electrical resistance. Materials with high resistance more easily get hot when electricity passes through them. Edison soon realized that any good burner would have to have a high electrical resistance, otherwise too much electricity would be needed to warm the material to the point where it would give off light. This revelation meant that Edison's staff need only to test high-resistance materials to find the one they wanted.

This information also started Edison thinking about the electric lights not only as an end to themselves, but how they fit as part of a whole electrical system. How big would the generator need to be to light a neighborhood? What voltage should be delivered to a house?

By October of 1879 Edison's workers began to see some results. On the 22nd of that month a thin, cotton "carbonized" thread burned for some 13 hours during an experiment. Longer times were achieved by modifying the vacuum pumps and creating a better vacuum inside the bulb (less oxygen inside the bulb slowed the burning process). More carbonized organic materials were tested and Japanese bamboo proved to be the best. By the end of 1880 Edison's carbonized bamboo burners, now called filaments because they were fashioned into a long, thin thread, were burning in bulbs as long as 600 hours. The "filament" proved to be the best shape to increase the materials electrical resistance and physical strength.

The carbonized bamboo had a high resistance and fit well into Edison's scheme for building a whole electrical power system to provide lighting. By 1882 he had established the Edison Electrical Light Company which had a generating station located on Perl Street, providing New York City with electrical lighting. In 1883 Macy's in New York City became the first store to install the new incandescent lamps.
mahendra kumar Profile
mahendra kumar answered
The light bulb was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879 by improving upon existing designs to construct a model that could last for about 40 hours. Though he is not the first person to conceive the idea of an electric light bulb his work in making the bulb a practical invention marks him as a central figure in the light bulb development process.

He not only succeeded in creating a bulb which could last for about 1200 hours (1880) but also worked to market the bulb as a mass produced commodity; he started a number of Electric Companies for research and production in this field.

In 1800 Humphrey Davy managed to make a piece of carbon glow by attaching wires and then connecting them to a battery, which he had earlier invented. This work was carried forward by the English physicist Joseph Swan (1860) and the American scientist Charles Brush (1877).

In 1878 Edison began his work of trying out different filaments which could glow for a longer period without burning out, finally succeeding with a carbonized cotton filament. He later improved it by using a bamboo filament in an evacuated bulb which glowed for 1200 hours; later in 1910 William Coolidge came up with the idea of using a tungsten filament.
elizabeth murray Profile
Sir Thomas Edison has the invention of the light bulb attributed to his name, having obtained a patent for the device in 1862. However, in 1882 he was served with a court order by Joseph Swan. The charge was infringement of patenting rights.

Joseph Swan had actually patented the idea in the UK in1861. This patent was for an incandescent lamp that required a carbon filament and a vacuum. The device was unsuccessful due to a poor electricity source and the vacuum being insufficient. He obtained a second patent in the UK in 1878, based on an improved version.

Edison is thought to have invented the light bulb in 1879. However, Swan had been installing devices in homes during this year, and founded his Swan Electric Light Company in 1881. Edison had, therefore, only improved upon the idea already patented. This was reflected in the court's decision to make Edison and Swan merge to become Edison and Swan United Company.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
This is very confusing. I have to do a PROJECT on light bulbs and I can't seem to figure out or get all the time frames right. I think Joseph swan invented the light bulb in 1861. But then Thomas Edison tried to make the invention better in 1862 and was sent to court in 1882 for infringement of patenting rights.

  - please correct me if I'm wrong
Lee Profile
Lee answered
Humphry Davy technically was the inventor of the light bulb, in 1801, but he used platinum as a filament. This meant that it didn't light bright enough for to be useful as a commercial product.

It wasn't until 1880 that Thomas Edison used a longer lasting filament bringing the product into the commercial market.

Some say that this makes him the true inventor... But many other filliments had been tried by other inventors before him. And William David Coolidge in 1910 used the more modern Tungsten filament.

So the only input that Thomas Edison had o the light bulb was it's filament, which was then put out of use anyway... It's up to each individual who the true inventor was. But I can't see how it truly was Thomas Edison!

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Joseph Swan actually invinted the lightbulb. But Edison's bulb burned for a longer time.

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