GE’s release said:
Perhaps there should be a bumper sticker: “If you love doing stuff at night without a kerosene lantern, thank Edison.” Okay, it doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue. Still, today is the anniversary of Thomas Edison’s 13-and-a-half-hour test of the carbon filament lightbulb that made electric light a practical reality for the world. As we’ve discussed before, Edison was one of many inventors of the lightbulb, but his designs proved to be transformative for the technology. Maki Naro marked the occasion with a short comic (replete with Alexander Graham Bell, who’s hoppin’ mad).
GE may be a biased source on this history, but the cartoon seems quite straightforward to me.
On the whole, is the light bulb a boon to society, or a bane? More specifically, does a 24-hour/day society produce more angst and dysfunction than productive work?
See more history of Edison’s work on the lightbulb, including the patent drawings, at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, a history blog:
- December 31, 1879: Edison demonstrated the lightbulb to investors and the public (includes links to patent images for the bulb)