Where would we be with out the light bulb?

I think that without the light bulb we would be in the dark!  Ok, so I’m not a commedian!

I was thinking about a movie I saw with Spencer Tracy in the lead.  It was called Edison the Man and it was from 1940.  I love the old films…especially when they are trying to interpret long gone days.  The movie is about Edison as an old man looking back on his life and the things he has invented.  There are some big inventions that are still part of our lives today or are the grandfather to the things we use today.  He made the phonograph which later became the record player which became the CD which became the MP3.  He invented motion picture cameras which gave us movies.  Who doesn’t watch movies?  The cameras have upgraded but the practice of going to the movies started with Edison’s machine.  He made other things like a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, and a battery for an electric car.

The light bulb is still a big deal.  Edison didn’t invent the light bulb but he made the first practical bulb that could be mass-produced.  Other bulbs from other inventors didn’t last long, or were too expensive to make in large quantities, or used far too much electricity.   He had his ready to go in 1879.

Now the reason I was thinking about this movie and the light bulb specifically was at work we were doing a regular program for our seniors.  It is call Wierd Science.  My co-worker dresses up as Dr Wierd and I dress up as his bumbling assistant Igor and we do science experiments.

Igor! Don't eat that!

If truth were told, our seniors like it best when the experiments sink like the Titanic!  But, I had one experiment that worked wonderfully!  It was to build my own light bulb.  (the experiment came from the internet.)

I bound 6 batteries together with electrical tape.  I taped 2 alligator clips with wires to a toilet paper tube.  Then I was supposed to clamp a refill for a mechanical pencil between the two alligator clips.  I had decided this was going to be one of those Titanic experiments when the refill broke the first 9 million attempts.  Then I finally got the thing hooked up and I put a mason jar over this set up and attached the batteries.

My light bulb all set up and threatening to fail me.

The first two attempts produced a “POOF” noise and lots of smoke.  That was when I thought “I better not try this experiment in front of the seniors because if the fire alarms go off I’ll get fired!”  My co-worker talked me into it so I reset the thing up and we presented it to the seniors.

Igor was shrieking like a little girl! It works! It works!

Maybe that is how Edison felt!

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