Welcome to part two in our serious of blogs on a few of the most notable figures in the history of electricity. In part one we learned about the contributions made by one of our very own founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and about a lesser known German physicist named Thomas Seebeck who helped discover thermoelectricity. Today we will learn about two legendary scientists who many people considered bitter rivals, and end with a brief bio of Alexander Graham Bell.
Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is probably one of the most well-known figures in the history of electricity. 1093 patents were held in his name making him the most prolific inventor of all time.Impressively, Thomas Edison was almost complacently self-educated. Edison invented the first lightbulb on October 22, 1879. He continued to advance the field of electrical lighting for the rest of his life. He also pioneered electrical utility design, envisioning it as a replacement for then modern gas lighting.
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) a contemporary of Thomas Edison, may be have been at least been the equal of Edison in terms of intelligence, yet had a life that went in quite the opposite direction. Tesla brilliantly created an electrical system which made it possible to harness the power of Niagara Falls with the first hydroelectric plant in the United States. Unlike Edison, Tesla did not gain fame or notoriety. He died broke and alone in New York City.
Alexander Graham Bell
How do you feel about your phone? You probably love it. You and your phone are probably inseparable. You can thank Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)for inventing the first basic, primitive phone. Bell was obsessed with sound, and this obsession lead to one of the most important inventions in history of mankind. Bell famously refused to let one of his legendary inventions anywhere near his workshop as he believed phones were a distraction and would inhibit him from getting any real work done.