Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb

Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb

Scott R. Welvaert
Illustrator:  Charles Barnett III , Phil Miller 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736864893

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.