Tag Archives: light bulb

I Look Around my Home and am Amazed at the Surplus of Devices That Required an Inventor

I look around my home and am amazed at the surplus of devices that required an inventor, nay, a series of inventors, to build on each other’s work until the product was complete.

When working on a novel, most situations entailed within the worlds I manufacture, use sunlight during the day, or fire once the sun sets, to light the way.

Sunlight brings to mind one of the most famous items ever to wear the title of ‘invention.’ I’m speaking of the light bulb. This valuable commodity in most cases is attributed to Thomas Edison as the lone designer; however, according to interestingengeneering.com, many historians claim that no less than 20 inventors produced various designs of incandescent light bulbs long before Edison.

One of the most important steps making Edison’s invention possible was the work of  the great British scientist Sir Humphrey Davy. In 1802, he was able to produce the world’s first true artificial electric light. 

I don’t mean to beat up on the genius that is Thomas Edison; however, he is the brains behind the think tank of many inventions credited solely to him.

I hope this little tidbit of information causes a wrinkle in your brain and moreover I pray the week ahead is one of the best you’ve ever had, only to be eclipsed by the week after next. God bless and I’ll talk atcha Monday week . . . and leave a light on for me.

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On and Off

Consider the light bulb. It’s smooth and round. Screws in and out easily. Operates with the flick of a switch and most importantly illuminates the darkness, saving us from all manner of evil nasties (things that go bump in the night) and worst of all, the dreaded boogie man. If you look back a few hundred years, people were eating and reading by the light emanating from wood fires, candles, oil lamps, fire flies, bio-luminescent moss and anything else that would create an absence of darkness.

Until that magical day in eighteen seventy-nine when Thomas Edison flipped a switch and …(insert car screeching to a halt effect here) …hold the phones… (I can say that since the telephone pre-dated the light bulb by three years)… You mean to tell me that we’ve been duped into believing Edison invented the light bulb for all these years and it was really Humphrey Davy in eighteen hundred six? I guess I’ll have to retract the “Hold the phones” comment. Sorry, Alexander, I honestly didn’t know that the light bulb had you by seventy years.

Coincidentally, this scenario mirrors the technique some authors employ when plying their trade. You’re in the middle of this exceptional novel, in tune with the storyline, the characters, and even the scenery and settings; in your mind, you have it all figured out–you know exactly where the author is going. As you near the ending, you’re rounding third and heading for home. With just a few pages left, you begin your slide and tag home plate. As you begin the last page, you realize that the author is out in left-center field. He has managed to throw you a curve that “The Babe” himself couldn’t hit. This is the moment when that exceptional novel turns into a great novel.

The next time you’re at a baseball game and you want to make a call, all you need to remember is that Dr. Martin Cooper invented the device we have all come to depend on: the cell phone. What does this have to do with light bulbs and landlines? Absolutely nothing. So grab a candle, tie a string between two tin-cans, and take the cheap way out.

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