Who do you think of when we talk about the inventor of the lightbulb? The name that instantly springs to mind is Thomas Edison but of course that is followed by Ediswan, the company that then produced light bulbs later. The reason for the strange name is that the patent for the lightbulb was registered by a Joseph Swan a few years before Edison. In fact this led to Edison’s patent being deemed in breech of the law. People normally use this to discredit Edison but of course he did develop a filament for bulbs that would last longer than any other from the stalk of bamboo, it was merely the design of the bulb the the American government decided wasn’t his. If you begin looking into the the development of the lightbulb you’ll find possibly five people that you would be validated in saying invented it; and possibly fifteen who developed the ideas in some incremental way. Allessandro Volta proved electricity could carry energy by making a wire glow, the first light of electricity so even from the very beginning this idea has existed. The important thing to gain from this story is the fact that who developed, designed of manufactured a particular invention is almost irrelevant. It is merely a matter of history and if you wish to spend your life striving solely to be in a history book than I reserve the right to consider that a shallow existence. These inventions are not important for the who, when of what. They gain value by application, through use, and the amount of light these inventors have brought to our world is beyond belief.
I would also like to once again thank and link The Brilliant Cosmos. Their recent articles have managed to educate and entertain me even on a subject I was already very knowledgeable in: that of nuclear engineering. I would recommend this blog to anyone whether they have advanced, basic or even no knowledge of these subjects.