Dec. 18, 1878: Let There Be Light - Electric Light

Priya Ganapati, Wired, Dec 18, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Nice article documenting the invention of the light bulb by British scientist Joseph Swan. "After the initial demonstration to the members of the Newcastle Electric Society, Swan did another presentation in February 1879 with more than 700 people in the audience. His lamp then burned for about 40 hours... Swan still had a trump card. He had first filed a patent for his idea in 1861 and revised it in the next decade when he improved the design. The patent was strong enough for Edison Electric to go for a merger with the Swan Electric Light Company." The lesson, of course, is that while credit often goes to the loudest self-promoters, invention is most often the result of a collection of related work in a community of practitioners.
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