"The Bright Idea"

By: Tristan J. Romo

Thomas Alva Edison

         Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan,Ohio on February 11,1847. He was named after his great-uncle and Alva after Captain Alva Bradley, a good friend of his father. Growing up he was a very curious child. That is why many people said that was the scientist in him. In his younger years many people called him Al. It wasn't until he became a teenager that people began calling him Tom. He married at the age of 24. He believed that working hard was the key to success. He invented quite a few things but we know him today for the invention of the incandescent light bulb.

The Amazing Light Bulb

         Thomas Edison is famous for the invention of the light bulb. Before this invention most indoor lighting came from candles, gas lamps and oil lamps. None of the forms of light ever gave off enough light to do much after dark. He felt that if he was to succeed with the electric light he had to make a simple light bulb. It needed to give off a bright,soft glow from a heated filament, or material, inside the bulb. This was known as incandescent lighting. There were others that were working on something similar but he knew he had to be the first. It had to be reliable and affordable. He first had to develope a bulb that was a vaccum.That meant there would be no oxygen. The filament would glow much longer if it heated up in a vaccum. He had a tough time finding the right material for the filament. He ended up using simple sewing thread covered in carbon. On October 22, 1879 Tom's bulb glowed for thirteen and a half hours. The next one had glowed for over a hundred hours. They had did it! From that point electrical plants were built and cities were lit. The light bulb has changed in many ways. Both in color and output. It is amazing in how far it has come and how it will continue to change.


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