Go to podcast
by Prof. Greg Jackson
History That Doesn't Suck

95: "Several Thousand Things that Won't Work:" Thomas Alva Edison and His Electric Light


“I have got so much to do and life is so short, I am going to hustle.”
This is the story of trial and error, of determination, and science merging with business.
Electric lights have been around since the early 1800s. Unfortunately, they’ve also been impractical. The energy it takes to operate an arc light makes it little more than a novelty. Likewise, newer lights called “incandescents” burn out far too quickly to be of value. 
But what if someone could make incandescents last hundreds of hours? What if someone could figure out how to power them safely and economically … on such a scale that an entire neighborhood could be electrified–like a major section of Lower Manhattan? 
It sounds like a pipedream, but one inventor with incredible business savvy thinks he can do it. All he’ll need is a large team willing to make every error in the book until they can figure out how to do it right. This is the story of Thomas Alva Edison and his electric light.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices



by Prof. Greg Jackson