Inventions That Changed the World: The Light Bulb

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Invention: a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship. *

The world is constantly changing, for better or worse. We live in an era of unprecedented technological advancement. One consequence of this is failing to consider that the world wasn’t always this way.

Throughout time, there have been particular achievements or inventions that have had a significant impact on the future of an ecosystem, society, or human civilization as a whole.

The invention of the light bulb is one example of such an achievement.

” By the end of 1879, Edison had developed the first practical incandescent light bulb after a long period of trial and error that gave proof to his much-quoted adage that “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. Never “before or since,” commented Smithsonian magazine one century later, “has an invention had such an impact on culture and society or led to so many other inventions. Between 1880 and 1882, Edison laid the foundation for the entire electric-light and power industry. He devised sockets, switches, fuses, cutouts, meters, chandeliers (called electroliers), and underground mains.” **

Think of what Edison’s genius ambition must have sounded like to other people. Colleagues and people close to him at the time had to have thought him a least a bit odd, possibly a screw loose. His revolutionary, innovative, world-changing mindset surely set him apart and no doubt came with its own set of struggles. His persistence, motivation, and belief in himself and his abilities forever changed the way people lived, played, and worked.

Electricity is the cornerstone of the modern world. So, in a way, by inventing the light bulb and controlling electricity, Thomas Edison invented the Modern Era.

  *  Random House Unabridged Dictionary

** Quote taken from The Man Who Lit Up the World article. See Works Cited. �

* Works Cited *

Hoar, William P. “The Man Who Lit Up the World.” The New American, 30 June 2003, pp. 33–38. ProQuest.

“Invention.”, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2019,

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