• Question: when did the light bulb start having impact on people?

    Asked by charlsboswellx on 6 Jan 2015.
    • Photo: Fiona Dickinson

      Fiona Dickinson answered on 6 Jan 2015:

      It took about 80 years for the lightbulb to go from ‘here look what I can do isn’t this great’ of passing light through a wire and making it glow (for a couple of seconds) to a lightbulb which was actually practical, useable and cost effective, but after Edison had perfected the recipe the lightbulb took the world by storm.

      There were a couple of problems (in that there were light bulbs but most people didn’t have power coming in to their homes) which were soon sorted, and very quickly the ‘safe’ (there was an elephant involved :o) electric light started the replace the dangerous ‘gas lamps’ that had been used in homes. So it took a long time to make a practical light bulb but in 10 years there were a number of manufacturers and so the bulbs had become cheap – and because of this common.

      The world changed very quickly, after the invention of the light bulb, it seems remarkable that only 150 years separate us and a world where there was no electricity in homes, no telephones, no cars, no computers, no lego, no planes, no tvs, no internet, no hoovers, no microwaves and no antibiotics.