First Electric Light


When and who is the inventor of electric light?

The first electric light was generated in 1800 by Humphry Davy.

Humphry Davy

  • Humphry Davy was an English scientist.
  • Humphry Davy decided to experiment with electricity and invented an electric battery.
  • When Humphry Davy connected wires and a piece of carbon to the invented battery carbon blazed which he called light.
  • The produced light is called an electric arc.
  • In 1860, a physicist, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan decided to devise a useful long-lasting electric light. He thought that a carbon paper filament illuminates well but blazed up quickly.
  • So, in 1878 he created and demonstrated his new electric lamps in Newcastle, England.
  • In 1877, Charles Francis Brush created some carbon arcs to illuminate a public square in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • In this way, the arcs were started being used on streets, office buildings, and even some stores. Electric lights were only used by a few people at that time.

Thomas Alva Edison

  • Thomas Alva Edison was an American scientist and businessman who developed many devices including long lasting light bulb.
  • After many experiments different kind of filaments, Thomas Alva Edison returned to a carbon filament. In 1879, Thomas Alva Edison invented a carbon filament that had the capacity to light for forty hours.
  • Thomas Alva Edison continued to improve this design and within few months developed an electric lamp using "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platina contact wires".
  • Finally, Thomas Alva Edison and his team were able to invent a carbonized bamboo filament which could produce light for 1,200 hours.
  • In 1878, Thomas Alva Edison established the Edison Electric Light Company in New York.
  • On December 31, 1879, Thomas Alva Edison made the first open display of his incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park.
  • In the demonstration Thomas Alva Edison said: "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."

Contribution of Thomas Alva Edison

  • In 1880, Thomas Alva Edison patented an electric distribution system, which was essential to capitalize on the invention of the electric lamp.
  • On December 17, 1880, Thomas Alva Edison founded the Edison Electric Illuminating Company.
  • In 1882, The Company established the first investor-owned electric utility on Pearl Street Station, New York City.
  • In 1882, that Thomas Alva Edison started his Pearl Street generating station's electrical power distribution system provided 110 volts direct current (DC).
  • In 1882 only Thomas Alva Edison also built the first steam generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London.
  • The DC supply system of the station provided use to supply light to street lamps and several private dwellings.
  • In 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system provided electric supply in New Jersey