Although other inventors had experimented with incandescent light bulbs prior to Thomas Edison, the version developed in Edison's lab proved the most enduring. Edison's developed not just the bulb, but an entire electrical lighting system.

Photograph by Sam Marcus, My Shot
  • On December 31, 1879, Thomas Edison made the first public demonstration of electric light. With many observers on hand, Edison lit up the streets and buildings around his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Although widely credited with inventing the light bulb, Edison improved upon existing designs to create the first practical electric lighting system.

    By developing long-lasting light bulbs and helping to establish electrical grids, Edison revolutionized the world’s use of energy. While electricity powers many of our technologies, it is mostly produced from non-renewable resources such as coal. These non-renewable energy sources contribute to pollution and climate change.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Earth's Changing Climate
    electrical grid Noun

    network of cables or other devices through which electricity is delivered to consumers. Also called a power grid.

    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    laboratory Noun

    place where scientific experiments are performed. Also called a lab.

    pollution Noun

    introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

    Encyclopedic Entry: pollution