Who Invented Light Bulbs

The invention of electric bulb history is well known. Today we can not imagine living without electricity even for a moment. We must remain grateful to the inventor of the electricity or the first bulb, for that matter. But, the million dollar question is who invented the first light bulb? Most people would end up saying it was Thomas Alva Edison who did it. But, hardly people know that he was not the one who achieved this feat. There are other scientists also who claimed to discover the same and that too even before Edison could do it! Most people don't seem to know this interesting fact.

The first person to experiment with electricity was Humphry Davy, an Englishman. He connected the wires to the carbon and the electric battery which he has discovered. As a result, carbon lighted. This was termed as an electric are.

Much to people's astonishment, it was an English scientist, Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914), who displayed his discovery of the carbon filament lamp in Newcastle, even before Edison could do the same. That's not all. He even gained British patent rights a few months before Edison received the same from U.S. in 1879. In the meantime, one more scientist from U.S., Charles Francis Brush, devised some carbon arcs in 1877. He lighted a public square with the help of these arcs in Cleveland, Ohio, US.

So, there are others too who can claim to have devised electricity. But it was Thomas Alva Edison who is credited with the invention of first light bulb. There are so many reasons to believe that he (Thomas Edison) had a lion's share in the invention of electricity. Though, Thomas Edison had the knowledge of Swan's work, the latter's invention was not complete in true sense. The carbon filament discovered by Swan was not long-lasting in the first place. It could last for only a few hours. But, Edison toiled hard to address this issue. Initially, the bulb developed by Edison could not even last for about 40 hours. But, the great scientist that he was, he managed to invent a carbon filament that could burn up for about 1200-1500 hours in an oxygen-free bulb. Moreover, he set up an electric generation plant in New York City, which ultimately helped to distribute power widely. It was something others could not manage to do!

Edison put up a system of Power Distribution in New York City with the help of Direct Current (DC) System, which is no longer used nowadays. This facilitated the use of electric bulbs remotely in households.

Though people usually think of carbon filament, when it comes to invention of electric bulb, but that was not enough. There were other systems or discoveries too which were to be made to enable this great invention work in order. Not only Thomas Edison devised the carbon filament but he also discovered other essential systems which were crucial to the functioning of electric bulb. He also discovered the parallel circuit, a durable light bulb, an improved dynamo, the underground conductor network, the devices for maintaining constant voltage, safety fuses and insulating materials and light sockets with on-off switches. To sum up, to say that Edison didn't discover the electricity bulb, but he improved the exiting technical know-how, would be unfair.