Making the statement that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb on Quora is like throwing fresh meat into a tank full of piranha.

So let me first address the issue of Thomas Edison and the light bulb

There were more than twenty inventors that filed patents for various versions of the incandescent lamp before Edison, and there have been dozens of inventors that have filed patents for incandescent lamps since Edison.

Edison's invention was a break through in the long process of experiments and discovery that lead to the practical light bulb. Edison took the ideas and theories and created the practical light bulb that lasted long enough to be useful. His first attempts lasted a little over half a day, but eventually his efforts led to a bulb that could burn for 1,200 hours.

Edison was a systems thinker and a problem solver. We can argue over whether or not he deserves credit for “inventing the light bulb” but to Edison perfecting the light bulb was one problem to be solved in bringing electricity to our homes. The light bulb was one element in creating a system of bringing electricity to our homes.

Edison might have been too stubborn to back down on DC power generation as the way to produce electricity, but he does deserve to be respected for launching the modern electric utility industry with the creation of the Pearl Street station in lower Manhattan in 1882.

…do you think Nikola Tesla would have done it?

Looking at the light bulb as a finished product, and a single invention, misses the bigger picture, of bringing electricity to our homes. Tesla had a fasination for how electricity works, and on electric motors. Tesla's contribution to bringing electricity to our homes was his work with George Westinghouse and Westinghouse Electric with his work with polyphase electric motors.

Tesla was an idea man, and he had many ideas, some good, some crazy. But Tesla did not have the mindset and the business sense to focus on single ideas. That's why Tesla's greatest success came when he worked with George Westinghouse, an inventor and idea man himself. Westinghouse also had the mindset and the business sense to turn those ideas into products and services for the world to use.

Parts of this answer extracted from this answer →

  • light-bulb1.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/04/27 15:59
  • by theguru