Who Is The Actual Inventor Of Electric Light Bulb, If Not Thomas Edison?

The electric light bulb has been around for years, and we are a witness on how useful it is to our society. Ever since its invention, several people around the globe took advantage of its lighting capacity.

In our modern world, we can see electric light bulbs everywhere we go – houses, buildings, malls, public establishments, on the streets, in vehicles, and many more. It is evident that we rely on this excellent technology to light up our world, and living in our modern world would be quite challenging without it. It becomes extremely useful at night when there is no much light for us to see our surroundings. Especially today, people all around the globe learned how to adapt in a fast-paced world where there are cities that are still awake even during nighttime.

Moreover, the use of electric light bulbs became widespread because of its efficiency and durability. The primitive ways of producing light include lighting a candle or a lamp, which both uses fire. This old version of creating light has its hazards since they are prone to start fires. Furthermore, using fire as a source of light could also heat a room, which is not comfortable compared to modern electric bulbs.

With this said, we can say that the electric light bulb is a brilliant invention. Similar to other remarkable inventions, there is always a person behind their greatness. In this article, we are going to look into the history of the electric bulb – mainly, who is the actual inventor of the electric light bulb?

The History of the Electric Light Bulb

Most of us might already have a brief knowledge about who invented the light bulb. Furthermore, if we ask anyone the name of the inventor of light bulbs, they would most probably have the same answer – which is Thomas Edison.

However, there are some people who are against this belief. This group of people does not believe that Edison is the inventor of the light bulb, and instead, they give credit to the British physicist Joseph Swan.

Both of these persons contribute to the invention of the electric light bulb. But, what is the history behind the creation of the light bulb?

Let us first look into the history of each scientist.

First and foremost, Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. As mentioned earlier, he is probably one of the most famous inventors in history, and people often regard him as America’s greatest inventor. Many of his inventions are electrical and mechanical devices such as the phonograph and the motion picture camera. Among his great inventions is the well-known practical electric light bulb. Similar to his other inventions, the light bulb has a significant and long-lasting impact on our modern world.

On the other hand, Joseph Swan was also an inventor, as well as a physicist and chemist. This English inventor made history when he created the first successful incandescent light bulb, which first illuminated homes and public buildings in London. Most of his inventions revolved around electrical devices, wherein the electric light bulb was one of the most popular.

Now, since both of them have their share on developing the light bulb – which is its actual inventor?

Edison created and tested his cotton-filament bulb in October 1879, which resulted in success. On the other hand, Swan made a sulfuric acid-coated cotton-filament bulb. Furthermore, he organized a public demonstration of a number of such bulbs in Newcastle, United Kingdom, in December 1878.

Interestingly, Swan was about ten months ahead with his invention. However, Edison still accused him of stealing his idea. This accusation became a dilemma for both inventors, which later on led to a long drawn legal case.  These series of events became a downfall to Swan since he did not have enough money to pursue the case. Swan, later on, agreed to a compromise, which became the start of The Edison and Swan Electric Co, also known as Ediswan – funded by Edison.

Considering all of these factors, we can say that both inventors contributed to the creation of light bulbs. Their invention created a remarkable impact on modern industrialization.