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Thomas Edison

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Thomas Edison invented the first commercially successful light bulb in 1879. Ironically, barely anyone in America had access to electricity. They couldn't use the new invention. Edison worked to solve this problem. He helped develop power plants so that they could distribute electricity over wires to homes and businesses. Once electricity reached customers across the nation, everyone had light bulbs.

Light bulbs literally changed the way people lived. Before, people strained to read by candlelight. Now, they could read comfortably with adequate light. The invention of the light bulb also led to the invention of other electrical items. Soon, refrigerators and electric heaters also helped people live more easily, and radios entertained people.

Imagine what your life would be like without light bulbs. You would have to keep a lot of candles at home. The streets would be sometimes so dark you probably would not go out after sundown. A simple little light bulb has made all the difference in the world. It has created a high level of convenience and security for the human race.