Guy recreates carbon filament electric light bulb

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“I’m starting to think that coming up with the idea for the light bulb didn’t require much genius. In fact the dumber you are the more likely you are to invent the light bulb.”


That was great to watch. Appreciated his commentary re. Edison’s contributions at the beginning. Seems like a lot of the criticism of Edison could be side-effects or overshoot from the the campaign to recognize Tesla’s accomplishments, which prior to the 90’s or so were conspicuously overlooked, (possibly with nativist undertones in the U.S.). Found the PBS American Experience documentary on Edison to be informative re. their relationship as well.


I have always loved The Secret Life of Machines, Tim and Rex also shine a light on the topic here:

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A Mostly Wonderful Thing! Yay!

The biggest innovation of Edison was perhaps the Research Park itself. If you have a lot of bright people on one site, they can share cutting-edge apparatus. The Roosevelt Organ Company presented a pipe organ to Thomas Edison in 1878. Edison and his workers used it to conduct sound experiments and for entertainment during work breaks. Fridays they sometimes had a barrel of beer in too, for an after work sing-song. The original organ was destroyed in a fire in 1914.

He also made an organization which allowed the easier transfer of ideas into manufactured products. He had a patent department, which helped his enormous patent score. He had a PR department which electrocuted elephants, and other things. And he was an obvious figurehead for all of this, so the evil that was done lives on, while the good is oft interred with his bones, etc.

I am not sure I would have enjoyed working with him. But it would have been interesting.


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