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Jonas Sarmiento I.S.

2-5-11 721

The Light Bulb


Thomas Alva Edisons discovery of the fluorescent light bulb changed society and brought light through our homes. Edison did not actually invent the light bulb but improved it. The first light bulb was actually invented by Humphrey Davy. His contraption if the light bulb was later enhanced by many great inventors such as Thomas Edison. The light bulb still has a big impact on society. Thomas Edison grew up to be a great inventor but had to face many obstacles in life. Thomas Edison was born in a village in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. His parents were Samuel and Nancy Edison. As a child, Edison went to school for only a few month a year. He was mostly tutored by his mom. Edison began working at the age of 13. His first job was to work as a newsboy, selling newspaper and candy on train stations. He seems to have spent much of his free time reading scientific and technical books (Bellis). Edison had the opportunity to learn how to operate a telegraph. He got a job to work as a telegrapher full time. The telegraph was the first step in the communication revolution. The telegraph brought him really big opportunities in life. He was able to travel, see other countries and gain experience. In 1868, Edison arrived in Boston where he decided to change his profession from a telegrapher to an inventor. Edison moved to New York City in 1869. He started creating invention related to the telegraph. His first successful invention was an improved stock ticker called the universal stock printer. For this invention and some other inventions, he was given 40,000 dollars. This gave Edison the money he needed to set up his first small laboratory and manufacturing facility in Newark, New Jersey in 1871 (Bellis). There, he started working on a whole lot of inventions such as the light bulb. He had hired some inventors so they could help him with his inventions. The team was the team that helped Edison improved the arc lamp which was created by Humphrey Davy. The first light bulb that was made was invented by Humphrey Davy. In 1806, Davy demonstrated that by placing two charcoal rods side by side, that would make an electric spark. The device known as the 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 light Bulb. The arc lamp needed a tremendous amount of energy. The amount of energy it takes up makes the light bulbs batteries to rapidly drain. After the first light bulb was made, many inventors wanted to improve it. Scientists knew that if you took some materials and passed enough electricity through them, they would heat up. They also knew that if the material got hot enough, it would start to glow (The light bulb). ). One problem about creating a light bulb was that you would need to find the perfect filament. Filaments are materials that are used inside a light bulb which will glow if enough electricity is passed through them. Instead of glowing, some materials would just burst into flames. To solve this problem, scientist installed a vacuum into a light bulb which would suck out all the oxygen inside the light bulb. Oxygen is a necessary ingredient in the combustion process. Since oxygen is in the atmosphere, the only way to keep it away from burners was to enclose the burner in a glass container, or bulb and pump out the air(The light bulb). Using the vacuum helps filaments burn for a longer period of time but other problems were not solved yet. That is when Thomas Edison started working on the light bulb. It was into this environment that the brash, young inventor Thomas Alva Edison entered the race to make a-better-bulb in 1878 (The light bulb). In October of 1878, he declared to the press I have just solved the problem of the subdivision of the electric light. This rash statement had enough to drive the stocks of the gas companies (whose lamps supplied the current form of lighting) down into the ground (Gapinski). His announcement may have

been said too early. Edison had an idea of how to solve the problem, but had not actually perfected it. The problem was that the current light bulb used too much electricity and he needed to find a light bulb that would be more practical and less expensive. The light bulb has changed our lives dramatically. It has changed the world by letting people work at night. Before, this was very hard to because other light sources such as candles or fires did not provide enough light for the works. Before mining would be very difficult for humans. Earlier, underground miners used torches, which `also added to the carbon dioxide content in the air, and therefore made breathing difficult. With the advent of the light bulb, mining has also become healthier and safer (How has light bulb). The light bulb has changed a lot since it was first invented. The first light bulbs were made in 1806 by using filaments from materials and were passed electricity through them. The problem with this was that it would burn out fast. The difference between the light bulb that was made in 1860 and the light bulbs that are made today is that todays light bulbs can glow for a larger amount of time. There has even been a light bulb that can be glow for up to 50,000 hours. Thats about 2,083 days without having to switch it off! Another difference is that before you would need a lot of energy to power a light bulb but todays light bulbs do not need a lot of energy to power them. Florescent light bulbs have decreased the amount of energy need to power a light bulb by 70%. There is always a good side of something and a bad side of it. The light bulb has a good side a bad side. The light bulbs filament can be easily broken with the smallest vibration. If you have a light bulb installed with a fan, you may have to replace the light bulb very frequently because the vibrations of the fan can break the filament inside of the light bulb. Another bad thing about the light bulb is that it causes a lot of pollution. For a regular light bulb, it would take up to 6,000 gallons of fresh water to keep it lit for 12 hours a day for a year! We should act now and switch to light bulbs that use less energy and we could be saving the world from global warming. The light bulb still has a big impact on society. It lets people see more clearly at night, work for more hours and help make underground mining easier and safer. Before, mining, working at night or just being able to see more clear at night wouldnt be possible if it were not for the genius invention of Humphrey Davy which was later improved by many great inventors such as the well know Thomas Alva Edison. That light bulb in top of your head may seem like a small invention but it has had a big impact on our society and our current lives.

Bibliography
Allyn, Kelley. "The Wizard of Menlo Park (Thomas Edison's electric light bulb." Gale Cengage Learning. Gale Cengage Learning, March 2009. Web. 12/23/2010. <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/printdoc.do?&contentSet=IACDocuments&type=retrieve&andtabID=T003&prodID=A193800206&sorce=gale&scrpro d=ITOI>. B e l l i s , M a r y. " I n v e n t o r s . " A b o u t . c o m . N . p . , n . d . W e b . 2 2 J a n 2 0 1 1 . <http://inventors.about.com/od/estartinventors/a/Edison_Bio_4.htm> Damewood, Cassie. "How Has the Light bulb Changed Over Time?" eHow. eHow, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010<http://www.ehow.com/about_5580418_lightbulbchanged-over-time_.html#ixzz18IV9SeRo>. Gapinski, James. "The impact of light bulbs on society." eHow. eHow, n.d. Web. 12/23/2010. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_5744753_impact-light-bulbs-society.html>. "How has the light bulb changed our lives." Weebly. Weebly, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <http://71023847.nhd.weebly.com/how-has-the-light-bulb-changed-our-lives.html>. Lebednikast, ChristineFirst. "How has the light bulb changed over the years?" eHow. eHow, n.d. Web. 12/23/2010. <http://www.ehow.com/about_5631574_lightbulb-changed-overyears_.html>. "The Light Bulb." The UnMuseum. The UnMuseum, 2002. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <http://www.unmuseum.org/lightbulb.htm>.

Work Cited Bellis, Mary. "Inventors." About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan 2011. http://inventors.about.com/od/estartinventors/a/Edison_Bio_4.htm Gapinski, James. "The impact of light bulbs on society." eHow. eHow, n.d. Web. 12/23/2010. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_5744753_impact-light-bulbs-society.html>. "How has the light bulb changed our lives." Weebly. Weebly, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <http://71023847.nhd.weebly.com/how-has-the-light-bulb-changed-our-lives.html>. "The Light Bulb." The UnMuseum. The UnMuseum, 2002. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <http://www.unmuseum.org/lightbulb.htm>.