Without thinking about it, say "Eureka" in your head.

Now, admit it.....you said it in Goofys voice....

As you can see, Goofy had an idea. And how do we know that? By the light bulb.

But, where did the light bulb come from?

We all know Thomas Edison get's credit for inventing the lightbulb in 1879. But, no, he didn't. It wouldn't be much of a post if he did.

The first person to demonstrate electric lighting was Sir Humphrey Davy in 1806. (Davy was a character and might be worth his own post someday). His light consisted of an electrical arc between two carbon rods, and contained by a glass sphere. It was more of a proof of concept, though, as it was too bright for practical use.

In 1860, after spending 10 years working on the problem, one of the many inventors who tinkered with Davys concept, Joseph Swan, had the brilliant idea of placing the light into a vacuum. He struggled for many years trying to get the right materials for a filament, and in 1878 he demonstrated an electric light in England. His house was the first to be lit by electricity only two years later.

One of the people who heard about the light was Edison. He started working on different filaments. He tested over 8,000 of them before coming across a piece of carbonized bamboo. He filed for a patent and started selling his new fangled lights.


Too bad Swan already held the patent on the light bulb.

Swan sued Edison for infringement, and, on this rare occasion, actually won. This forced Edison to take Swan on as a partner in his fledgling General Electric company. Edison bought out Swan a few years later and started really marketing electric light.

Edison had another setback in 1883. A court ruled his patent was invalid. The court decided the work was based on that of William Sawyer. (Sawyer died in 1883, and had been working on incandescent lighting long before Edison, allowing the courts to rule in his favor. Sawyer shared his house with a boarder whom he shot in 1880. In 1881 Sawyer was sentenced to four years hard labor, but was allowed to stay at home during the appeals process due to ill health. He eventually died of hemorrhaging of the bowels.)


It's known that Edison 'borrowed' ideas from others, and took credit on patents for others inventions, however, there is no doubt he was a good inventor.

But, he didn't invent the light bulb.