?  Library of Wonders The Wonder of Sound

How was the light bulb invented?

Before electric lights were invented, people used oil-burning lamps, candles, and gas lamps for light at nighttime. But these lights were not very bright. Then came the light bulb, which uses electricity to make bright light. The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison, the king of American inventors. When electricity is forced to flow through a material that does not let electricity pass easily, that part of the material will emit heat and glow. The light bulb works on this principle. The problem was it was very hard to find a good material that does not let electricity pass easily. Materials that get hot and then burn are no good for a light bulb. Edison tried thousands of experiments trying to invent the light bulb. He found that bamboo grown in Japan was the best material for his light bulb, because it glowed without burning for a long time. In 1879, Edison at long last completed his light bulb! His powerful determination to never give up is what led to his success. An Englishman named Joseph Swan also researched light bulbs. Some say he invented the light bulb before Edison. In any case, Edison and Swan together set up a light bulb company and brought the light bulb to the world.