Thursday, December 20, 2007

Edison Privately Demonstrates Incandescent Light Bulb

It was on this day in 1879 that Edison demonstrated his incandescent light bulb.
The incandescent light bulb is a source of artificial light that works by incandescence. An electrical current passes through a thin filament, heating it until it produces light. The enclosing glass bulb prevents the oxygen in air from reaching the hot filament, which otherwise would be destroyed rapidly by oxidation.

Most people would immediately claim that Thomas Edison invited the light bulb or what is called the incandescent light. The fact is Thomas Edison invented the first practical incandescent light. Prior to Edison’s contribution, the incandescent light was of little value outside of being a novelty. Edison perfected the research and produced a light that could enjoy everyday use.
In 1802 Humphry Davy had what was then the most powerful battery in the world at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In that year, he created the first incandescent light by passing the current through a thin strip of platinum, chosen because the metal had an extremely high melting point. It was not bright enough nor did it last long enough to be practical,
Others continued making improvements over the years. In 1809, Davy created the first arc lamp by making a small but blinding electrical connection between two charcoal rods connected to a 2000 cell battery. Demonstrated to the Royal Institution in 1810, the invention came to be known as the Arc lamp.

In 1835, James Bowman Lindsay demonstrated a constant electric light at a public meeting in Dundee, Scotland. He stated that he could "read a book at a distance of one and a half feet".
In 1840, British scientist Warren de la Rue enclosed a platinum coil in a vacuum tube and passed an electric current through it.

In 1841 Frederick de Moleyns of England was granted the first patent for an incandescent lamp.
In 1845 American John Wellington Starr acquired a patent for his incandescent light bulb involving the use of carbon filaments.

In 1851 Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin publicly demonstrated incandescent light bulbs on his estate in Blois, France. His light bulbs are on permanent display in the museum of the Chateau of Blois.

In 1872 Alexander Nikolayevich Lodygin invented an incandescent light bulb. In 1874 he obtained a patent for his invention.

However, there are claims that Lewis Latimer, a black inventor was the actual inventor of the light bulb and received a patent for his "invention" in 1882.

However, 2 years before Latimer’s patent, there were already countless patents for incandescent light bulbs, of which over 50 were submitted by Thomas Edison.

Latimer’s inventions were never used except within the Hiram Maxim's company where Latimer worked at the time. Later (1884) he would work for Thomas Edison, primarily as a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigations.

Montclair State University in New Jersey has announced that it is establishing an undergraduate minor in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer studies.

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APRIL 4-6, 2008
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