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Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb

Scott R. Welvaert

Illustrated by Phil Miller and Charles Barnett III

Non-Fiction (Series)

Ages 7 to 10

Capstone Press, 2007, 0-7368-6489-X

  In the mid 1800’s people had very inefficient, and often unsafe, ways of lighting their homes. Scientists were looking for a better way to do things. They wanted to find a way to use electricity to bring a clean bright light into homes and businesses but they just could not find a way to make it work.

  Then in 1878 Thomas Edison, who was already a successful inventor by this time, decided to work on the project. He got investors and formed the Edison Electric Light Company. He then, with the help of others, worked out how enough power could be generated to create the electricity that would be needed to form a city-wide grid.

  The next problem that he needed to solve was how to make a light bulb that would last long enough. Edison tried all kinds of solutions to the problem and yet time and time again the filament in his bulb burned out too soon to be of use. He realized that he had to create a good vacuum in his bulb and once that was achieved he could use a carbonized filament of some kind.

  At long last a good vacuum seal was created and bamboo based filaments were burning in the bulbs for more than six hundred hours. The time had come to bring the various parts of the project together to create a real electric light network for the city.

  This excellent title with its graphic novel style format will show young readers how Thomas Edison set about the task of creating electrical light. They will see that he was not only brilliant but that he was also determined to succeed, and succeed he did. With an easy to follow text and pages packed with illustrations, this is a perfect book for readers who are intimidated by books that dominated by text.

Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb


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